We seek close and meaningful relationships. Often our best intentions, and best selections, may initially seem to meet our needs and our loved ones’ needs, but then things enter the day-to-day experiences of life. We all have expectations from our original family in which we grew up. Sometimes we wish to carry those with us and sometimes we want only to leave them behind. When two people form a relationship and blending those patterns, it brings a unique set of struggles. And then specific issues can test even the closest partnership. When anger and frustration escalate, the closeness is gone and both people back up.
Communication requires listening and thought before responding. Old patterns you observed or used in earlier relationships to support or get support may not work here. Financial issues cause significant distress: how you spend, save, and share in setting priorities. Intimacy, which is what can hold us together, may come with unresolved issues and a different set of skills and needs.
An engaged or married couple planning to move forward and wanting to be prepared to face the issues ahead in a unified manner may have small glimmers of possible style differences. A younger or older couple, a same-sex couple, or a non-married couple may note a decrease in excitement and want to change direction.
And trust… the basis of a relationship… takes merely a moment or incident to be threatened and broken. This may be in the form of a secret, a sneaky behavior, an addictive behavior, or an emotional or physical affair. It is difficult to recover both for each person and for the integrity of the relationship.
Couples therapy helps each individual partner find emotional well-being and develop the skills to succeed in the relationship. There is a need for understanding, communication, and problem solving.