Couples Therapy & Relationships
Questions to ask yourself when considering seeking help with relationships:
Do I experience difficulty in making or sustaining relationships?
Am I repeatedly drawn into unhappy partnerships ?
Are there issues I avoid talking about in my relationship and why do I avoid them?
Do I prevent myself from expressing my feelings when I first become aware of any problems?
Do I keep my hurt feelings inside until they show up later as anger?
Does my fear of being criticised or rejected stop me from expressing my hurt and anger?
Do I have difficulty in listening to my partner and trying to understand their point of view?
What did I learn from my parents about communicating and how does this either help or hinder my relationships today?
Do I want to take steps in repairing my relationship or starting a new one?
One of the most fundamental components to happiness in life is having satisfying relationships with others. Yet, we all know from experience that relationships are not easy. When difficulties arise, many people are quick to give up, blame themselves, or feel hopeless or despairing. The result is often that we feel trapped in a relationship where resentment or disappointment abound, or we face the painful effects of isolation and loneliness which could lead to depression.
Relationship issues are one of the most common topics for which people seek therapy. Therapy can provide the space and perspective to help you understand yourself in relationships and the patterns into which you fall. In the course of therapy, you can learn how to break out of your maladaptive patterns, learn about what you really want out of a fulfilling relationship and how to communicate that to others. Often, people report that they subsequently find themselves seeking healthier relationships and attracting the type of people who are truly able to care for them and vice versa.
Relationship difficulties do not occur overnight. It takes time and "relationship neglect" in order for significant problems in your relationships to develop. When you or your partner do not talk about hurt feelings, the hurt soon turns into resentment. The next stage can be "emotional deadening." In this stage, it is possible that you may feel like room-mates rather than intimate partners.
Successful relationships depend on mutual commitment, shared values and good communication. At some point in every relationship, couples encounter issues that require the ability to communicate effectively.
A key to good communication is the ability to talk about problems as they arise. Too often couples wait until it is too late and small problems build into major crises. Listening is also crucial to effective communication. When we vehemently hold on to the need to be right, we lose sight of our partner's feelings and communication breaks down.