Most married couples will tell you that it is difficult to be in a long-term committed relationship. Many of us have misconceptions about marriage when we first start out, and since we usually love our spouses at the time we wed, we aren’t necessarily thinking about all the changes that will happen to us and within us as we spend the rest of our lives with our mates.
The reason relationships are hard is that many of us have reaction points to things that have happened to us at previous times in our lives. If we can somehow work with our spouse by remaining non-reactive to their reactivity, we will grow and change and come out the other side as better people. We become more patient, less selfish, more self-aware and sometimes even more content in life as we come to appreciate who we are in the relationship. The price for these improved character traits can be high and painful.
The problem is usually found in our reactions to our wives and husbands. “They don’t listen to me.” “They are too controlling”. “They are stubborn, immature and unfeeling.” “I’m sick and tired of their belittling comments and yelling.” (The list goes on.)
One of the ways I help couples that come to my office, is to find the pattern of talking or relating that leaves them both feeling lonely and hurt. Couples typically have one of three responses when they communicate with each other. We meet together so we can understand your unique pattern that is causing distress or lack of emotional intimacy.