But let there be spaces in your togetherness,
And let the winds of the heavens dance
Love one another, but make not a bond
Let it rather be a moving sea between
the shores of your souls......
And stand together, yet not too near together:
For the pillars of the temple stand apart,
And the oak tree and the cypress grow
not in each other’s shadow.
Taking the First Step
You may be feeling daunted by the idea of seeking help for your relationship. Perhaps you are feeling overwhelmed and don’t really know where to start. We often hope that things will sort themselves out with time, and yet as the weeks roll into months and the months roll into years, the hope of getting things back on track, to the way things used to be, slowly diminishes.
Relationships start in many different ways, whether it be love at first sight, a friendship that develops into more, or an arranged marriage. And for many of us the start of a relationship feels like a dream come true. Finally we have met the one person who sees us, who understands us, the person we have been waiting our entire life to meet. However, this stage of love is always short lived, it is not sustainable. The person who has received the projection of our idealised self cannot uphold this image, eventually the cracks begin to show, and we are faced with their humanness, flaws and all. It is at this point that we begin to feel deceived, who are you? You are not the person I fell in love with.
Challenges provide us with opportunities for growth
We are all influenced by our earlier experiences, particularly those of childhood and we carry forwards unconscious expectations of how relationships should work and how our partners should behave and respond to us. When these expectations are unmet or our partners fail to meet our needs we will likely find ourselves being emotionally triggered.
“We just can’t seem to agree on anything.” “Nothing I do is right for you!” “I can’t believe you could do this to me!” “I feel so lonely in this relationship” “I just don’t feel loved” “I don’t know if I love you anymore” “I don’t feel supported by you!” “We never have sex, are you even attracted to me?” “You prioritise everything and everyone above me”
Sadness, anger and frustration begin to emerge. Sometimes we may find ourselves responding disproportionately to the situation at hand, and this is often a sign that our past wounds are being triggered in relation to our partner’s behaviour.
What we are feeling is related to what is happening in our relationship and it is also connected to much more than this!
How can couples counselling help?
Couple’s therapy aims to support you to understand the relational dynamics at play, what role are you currently playing for each other? And what does this tell you?
There may have been a significant life event, such as becoming parents, children leaving home, a bereavement, losing your job or retirement. These types of changes can leave us feeling anxious, stressed, alone, and depressed, and may understandably negatively impact our relationship.
There may be issues around trust, particularly if there has been an affair and feeling uncertain as to whether the relationship will be able to survive this. I will aim to support you to be open and honest with each other about your feelings and what your needs are moving forwards.
I aim to provide a supportive and non-judgmental space to help you to find a way through any challenges you may be experiencing in your relationship. Together you will begin to understand your individual needs and how these can be best met within the relationship and learn new ways of communicating with each other so that you both feel heard and respected. A lot can change when we are able to honestly communicate with our partners.
Alternatively, you may want support with exploring whether you want to stay or leave the relationship and if you choose to separate, I can support you with consciously ending your relationship in a healthy way.