I will see couples at the point of breaking up where distress is off the scale, as well as couples who just have a bit or sorting out to do. Relationship work is all about how you fit together as a couple. Without knowing it, we often bring beliefs and assumptions from the families we grew up in and it’s often helpful to examine what both parties bring.
A lot of relationship issues do not occur overnight. It can sometimes take years of papering over the cracks for significant problems to become apparent. It is a common pattern in relationships when one or other does not talk about hurt feelings and disappointments. This unexpressed hurt can turn into resentment. The next stage is ‘emotional deadening’. In this stage you feel like flat mates rather than intimate partners.
I do a lot of work with affairs and infidelity. Healing is hard. You will need commitment to repairing the damage and rebuilding trust and reconnecting. Forgiving doesn’t mean forgetting, but with belief and desire a relationship can be rebuilt. I have heard many clients say that although what they went through was traumatic, their relationship is stronger and happier than it had ever been.
Significant turning points in relationships can often bring significant problems. Events such as approaching marriage, adjusting to pregnancy or the birth of a child, depression and anxiety, or problems with health and work. As a couple grow older, the death of a parent, problems with teenage children or the changes that retirement bring can all cause emotional confusion.
Counselling can also help couples when they are separating. Understanding what went wrong and working at letting go of anger and frustration can prepare you for the next stage of your life. Where children are involved you will still always be parents together so a respectful relationship is vital.