Couples come to therapy because of conflict.
As you know, conflict can be caused by many things, including disagreement, disappointment, incompatibility, neglect, betrayal or abuse.
Without the ability to handle conflict in a marriage or relationship, you either have painful arguments or cold distance, and both of those are love-destroyers.
You might be thinking, “But I have to fight back somehow!” Yes and no. Fighting and withdrawing are instinctive defense mechanisms, natural reactions to being hurt by the one you love.
But, since those defensive reactions only worsen an already bad situation, something has to change, and that ‘something’ is the way you communicate.
As your therapist I will:
- Get to the bottom of conflict. Do you sometimes say, “Why are we fighting over such a small thing?” The answer is because bigger issues are at stake, but they are hidden from view beneath the triggering detail.
- Teach you to express yourself and listen to the other. Help you to hold opposing points of view without resorting to right vs. wrong, or manipulative techniques like sarcasm or dismissiveness.
- Identify the unconscious negative nuances of communication that get in your way. Understand how intention and interpretation factor in.
We all have differences and we all hurt each other sometimes. That is part of life, but it is not saying that any behavior is OK. It is how you handle it that counts.
Sometimes, if nothing else works, separating is necessary. Difficult though that decision is, if you have help, it can be done in a way which still preserves respect and caring for each other. This is especially important if you have children.
Don’t delay any longer. Change happens when you take action.