7 Things you will learn from being in Couples Therapy

 

  1. Understand the patterns you are both in and learn to change them.

  2. Be a better communicator

  3. Learn the 3 things you can say that lead to repair no matter how far apart you are.

  4. Making a repair and forgiving can open the heart

  5. Learn how to be in the moment and change it rather than look at the future as doomed

  6. Get a better understanding of your partner's anger and learn what’s underneath

  7. Get a better understanding of what you and your partner bring to the relationship from your family of origin and beyond so that new patterns can be fostered for you and your children

 

People come to me when they are in bad ruts or negative patterns and can’t seem to change them.   You know the old adage; INSANITY; doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.   Usually they feel reactive and can’t calm themselves enough to see things clearly.  Usually there are feelings of unhappiness, anger,   feeling out of control, an urgency to fight or flee, and blaming or shaming the other and/or themselves.

One of the things I noticed when there is a lot of disappointment in the other, is a tendency to complain about what the other is not doing and to ignore the positive behaviors they are doing.  Constant unhappiness and voicing it in words or body language erodes a relationship fast.  Why didn’t you take out the trash, you promised to return the vacuum cleaner and I see its still here,  why did you let our son get so dirty; how could you?  You get the gist.  You may be laughing right now and most of us can relate.  It seems so easy to feel discontent with our partners once the romance phase wears off and to let them know one way or the other.  We have a harder time seeing that our partner may be trying to please us by making little changes they were not doing before yet we let that go by. 

One exercise you can try at home is to ask your partner what is it that they want to hear from you the most.  For me and my husband I ask him to tell me, ‘I see how hard you are trying”.  When we are arguing or in a negative dance or spiral he can whip that out.  Or he can say that to me at choice times in the day or week.  As much as disdain, judgment, or blame hurts making an effort to really appreciate what your partner does do or the efforts they do make can heal and soothe.  I buy into the adage of use your words carefully.  Words can heal or harm.  Make a habit of finding something you admire and love about the person you’re with and let them know.  Even a little sprinkling of this can have a huge benefit in your relationship bank.