Couples often live in unhappy relationships several years before seeking therapy. Like the proverbial frog in the pot of boiling water, the unconscious defensiveness (read protective behaviors) and negativity creep in without notice, until one day we realize “I’m not happy in my relationship” and “I’m tired of the pain”. Or “I’m tired of being the source of my partner’s pain”. “How can we be happy again”? Often one person is smothering the other, trying to recover the lost connection. This leads to the other person withdrawing due to the smothering anxiety, which is excruciating and feels a lot like abandonment to the other.
These painful dynamics are reactive and unconscious, and can perpetuate for years, but they don’t have to.
If you and your partner are not talking, or the talking is negative, it’s time to see the couples counselor. If you and your partner are living like roommates instead of lovers, it’s time for therapy. If negativity has crept in, and you can’t seem to resolve it, it’s time. If attempts to communicate result in the same frustrating patterns over and over, it’s time. If your belief is “We’ve fallen ‘out of love'”, it’s time for therapy. If you’re fighting over money, kids, or sex; or if you’re just fighting, period, make an appointment with someone who can help. And CERTAINLY if feelings, fantasies or flirting with another are how you cope, by all means, this is a warning sign. It is NOT a signal that you should be with someone else. That is folly; you’ll just end up creating the same pattern over again.
This “power struggle” stage of your relationship, like the romantic honeymoon, is not meant to last. It’s meant for learning to interact differently, and now is the right time. Give me a call so I can help you create a conscious relationship. Don’t live in unnecessary pain. More couples than not leave my office feeling better after the first session.