The security and sense of well-being that an intimate relationship can provide makes us feel stronger as individuals and in partnership; more resilient to problems and more able to handle change.
Do you feel that ‘something’ has changed in your relationship? Do you no longer feel quite as strong or resilient?
More often than not, it is actually life that has changed. For example: having children; children leaving home; the death of a loved one; a relocation; an illness; increased stress at work; unemployment or retirement can all bring considerable change to our lives and to our relationships. Even the best relationships can become overwhelmed by change. Relationships rely on good communication and for some; this can be the first thing that fails when faced with change and uncertainty. As communication becomes difficult or stuck in a negative pattern, relationships can come under great strain, with couples quickly becoming disengaged or disconnected from one another.
Relationship therapy can help you to recognise and name problematic change, manage its impact and encourage more helpful communication, ultimately enabling you and your partner to become part of the same problem-solving ‘team’ again.
Do you feel that you or your partner has somehow changed? Do you no longer see or appreciate what makes your partnership or sexual relationship work? Has someone else entered your relationship?
Relationship therapy can provide a safe space to re-examine and assess relationships and to look at relationship problems such as affairs, lack of ‘spark’ or diminished sex-drive. Allowing you to get in touch with your feelings about your relationship and about each other, therapy can help you better understand and appreciate your own and each other’s conscious and unconscious needs. Ultimately it can help you make meaningful decisions about what you might want to change; understand what perhaps can’t be changed; and agree what you definitely want to stay the same.
Do you feel strongly that your relationship no longer meets your needs, or does your partner feel this way?
While separation can sometimes feel like the right decision and indeed it may be the right decision, it can still be a very difficult decision, more so, when children and other family members are affected.
Relationship therapy can help you think through this decision and to ensure that any separation is managed in a way that recognises and respects the feelings of both partners but minimises long-term damage. If communication has failed within the relationship, it is often unlikely to improve during separation and divorce without additional help. For those separating couples with children, it is important to realise that effective communication will be crucial in good parenting in the future.