Couples Therapy

Individuals enter relationships with two minds, two hearts, two sets of values and two belief systems, and then try to merge them into one viable relationship. We can reasonably expect that from time to time, perceptions about life and how to live it will inevitably be conceptualized differently. Individuals trying to work out a satisfying arrangement – whether sharing a household or not – assert their feelings and needs in their attempt to strengthen their connection to one another. How one asserts herself or himself and how the other responds are critical indicators of the quality of the relationship, which is always evolving. Expressions will reflect, first, the core traits of the individual in the couple and then, the dynamics that are produced by the interaction of the two individuals. The better result will be achieved when patience, kindness and respect are conveyed, whether on the sending or receiving end. Name-calling, yelling and shouting are destructive and create bitterness and resentment, leaving the couple with feelings that are more difficult to work through. Treating each other’s needs and feelings tenderly will harvest growth and a deeper, more meaningful existence together. That being said, discretion in communicating ought to be exercised: not every matter in one’s personal life is grist for the relationship mill. One must contemplate the effect that the disclosure of feelings will have. Though openness and honesty are held in high esteem, there are some matters that are better kept to oneself so long as they are not deceptive in representing oneself or one’s feelings about the relationship. Discretion is helpful in avoiding superfluous and disparaging fighting, and consequently, helps to preserve the well being of the bond. Fighting a lot is worthy of further exploration. Those who feel loving and compassionate about their Significant Other but who experience excessive turbulence in their relationship – that is, fighting that interferes with optimal functioning and contributes to low feelings in daily life -- can benefit from individual or conjoint therapy to enhance the quality of their relationship life which also colors and pervades the way we carry out the rest of our lives.