A couple relationship brings two separate and unique individuals together who have different ways of viewing the world developed by their cultural influences, religious beliefs, education, aspirations and parental conditioning. These values and beliefs are bound to clash causing misinterpretations and assumption-making as time goes on.
Arguments, Infidelity and Being Stuck
During arguments each person uses past examples of their partners ‘bad’ behaviour as ammunition whenever a mistake is made thus continuing the cycle of distrust, especially if there has been an affair or infidelity they are trying to overcome, causing an impasse.
Betrayal of the couple relationship can be considered a fundamental with infidelities and affairs. Betrayals may not always involve a sexual connection with another person; internet porn, ‘sexting’ or close emotional relationships are considered just as painful to many partners.
Being ‘stuck in a rut’ is another common theme. Routines of work, household chores and the pressures of bringing up children, have a tendency to erode their once valued connection, and this is when one or both may say ‘I feel taken for granted’ or ‘unloved’.
As conflict and repetitive arguments gradually overtake the relationship, couples are often unaware of the impact this may be having on their children or they might believe that they have successfully kept it away from them. Children see and hear everything, they may not overtly comment to this effect but the behaviour they witness is teaching them how to deal with conflict, and they will mimic their role models.
Differing parenting styles is another recurrent theme in couples counselling and there are tried and tested techniques and strategies that will enable parents to tweak and compromise their individual style in order to demonstrate a more united front for the health and well-being of their children. Coaching tends to help couples in this area.
Some couples complain about having different sex drives, or their partner may want to experiment with more ‘kinky’ sex toys or fetishes. Perhaps one partner would like to explore ‘role-play’ scenarios and fantasies that they’d like to share with their partner. Or perhaps the couple have ‘gotten out of the habit’ of love-making and now just feel awkward talking about sex or having any type of intimacy.
All of these issues and others can be explored openly and honestly both individually and collaboratively, within couple counselling. I am trained to coach you into becoming closer sexually if that’s what you both want for your relationship.
Domestic Violence and Abuse
Sometimes relationships can become more volatile in nature, with one or both partners unable to control their anger due to built up resentment of unresolved issues. This may develop into controlling behaviours such as verbal, emotional or physical abuse and couples can become trapped in a dysfunctional and sometimes co-dependent relationship of control, guilt and fear; neither one able to see how they could survive without the other, for different reasons. If both individuals are willing to engage in the therapeutic process and are able to take responsibility and accountability for their own actions then it is possible for a relationship to be brought back from the brink of despair.
Having a safe and confidential space where thoughts and feelings can be freely expressed honestly without judgement or recrimination, allows couples to fully ‘hear’ each other – sometimes for the first time in a long time.
More often than not, friends and family have their own agenda because they too have invested in the couple relationship. As a Relationship Therapist, the only agenda I have is to give you the best service I possibly can, individually, collectively and ethically.