When our primary adult attachment (couple relationship) is in trouble we can feel overwhelming distress. Disconnection can occur as a result of a major stressor, i.e. addiction, infidelity, financial worries, parenting issues, etc.
Core questions plague our minds and hearts:
- Don’t you love me anymore?
- Are you there for me?
- Do you respect me?
- Where has our closeness gone?
Disconnection can also grow imperceptibly over a long period of time. Left unattended, disconnection leads to an inability to hear each other clearly anymore and often to being stuck in an endless groove of arguing, criticism, contempt, hurt, and withdrawal. Both partners can feel lonely and despairing.
Couple therapy provides a safe, confidential space where you will both be heard, in which you can begin to express yourselves clearly and to hear each other with more empathy and understanding. Each partner’s relationship style and defensive patterns will be explored (what we learned about relationship implicitly or explicitly in our family of origin). You will be supported to discard or modify old patterns which no longer serve you well and to move towards more relational behaviours.
Once more healthy emotional communication is opened up, couples can work cooperatively to make decisions about what they want and what they need to change – whether this means a separation or the building of a stronger, mutually satisfying relationship.