RelationshipsA romantic relationship is one of the closest we have as humans. A relationship develops over time and is influenced by each partner’s values, interests, life experiences, and cultural, religious, educational or family backgrounds and preferences. Each partner’s expectation of what the relationship should be, and the roles each should play within it, is a significant influence.
Choosing a partner and staying together through life's twists and turns is rarely simple. When we choose to be together and raise a family together, unsurprisingly this only adds to the complexity.
Whether you have the odd tiff, full-blown arguments or you have simply stopped having fun - very few relationships exist conflict-free. When this (one of our most important relationships) begins to falter, our health and happiness suffers.
What does conflict in a relationship indicate?Frequent conflict and anger may indicate that all is not well, and change is needed to keep the relationship healthy. The key questions are:
Avoiding conflict, or agreeing not to talk about the issue that caused the conflict, might provide short-term peace. Conflict is a symptom – if you patch things up without finding out what’s at the bottom of your differences, you’ll probably find yourselves in conflict again.
Warning signs of a relationship breakdownNoticing early warning signs of relationship breakdown can help a couple resolve conflicts. these include:
However, resolution is not always that easy, particularly when there are more serious issues within the relationship:
Conflict can often be resolved and difficult matters dealt with through respectful communication and a bit of give and take and while for many of us our first instinct is to try and work through problems alone, it’s not always possible and when that fails it can potentially magnify differences.
Many couples only consider therapy as a last resort. It may however, be helpful at any time, and sometimes seeking therapy soon after problems surface prevents a buildup of frustration and disappointment.
Relationship TherapyThe aim of relationship therapy is not only to help you deal appropriately with immediate problems, but also to achieve better ways of relating in general. Focus will be on problems existing within the relationship between two people, but some of those problems may be symptomatic of individual issues, as well as the relationship conflicts. For example, if you are constantly arguing with your partner, you may have difficulty controlling your temper due to your own anger issues, or you may be chronically anxious or depressed which could indicate a past trauma. When this happens it can help to have one or two individual sessions.
Couple therapy will help you identify these conflict issues and help you make the necessary changes to feel satisfied with the relationship. It also involves learning how to communicate with each other more effectively, and how to listen more closely. Couples will learn how to avoid competing with each other, identify common life goals and share responsibilities within their relationship.
Regardless of how long you have been struggling in your relationship and how frustrated and hurt you are feeling, with help there is always hope
Couples Counselling Works Best When:
You and your partner are fully committed to making your relationship work.
You are open to healing past wounds to allow yourself to love and to be loved.
You’re ready to make changes to save your relationship.
You are willing to take responsibility for your part in your relationship problems.
You’re willing to be honest and sharing about your thoughts, feelings and behaviors.
The deeper you engage in the process of therapy,
the sooner you will see results and
the quicker you can enjoy life and each other