Couples who are able to communicate and respect each other’s individual growth have better chances of withstanding the difficult times and can actually grow stronger together.
Inevitably, relationships will have ups and downs. Often the vulnerabilities that were earlier shared become hindrances and triggers for resentment and negativity toward each other. Even in a healthy relationship, pursuit of personal activities and interest groups* can become a threat to the other. Ideally, when these healthy experiences are supported by one’s partner, they can be viewed as freedom to be strong as individuals. This can increase trust. Yet, without each partner managing their own emotional reactions, the trust built from the earlier stages of relationship development can erode. Small episodes can become experienced as hurtful and resentment can build.
Couple’s therapy can help build a deeper understanding of individual needs by exploring each other’s childhoods, families and attachment styles and by developing a shared model of a healthy relationship. Couple’s therapy also helps identify the needs of the couple in a supportive environment, free from blame or guilt and works toward a collaborative, communicative future. It is possible and realistic to learn ways to comprehend each other’s perspectives that lead to stronger trust and greater connectedness for healthier long-term fulfillment.
*may include healthy activities: book groups, exercise groups, watching sports, playing games, taking classes, and unhealthy activities: drinking and carousing, staying away from home, avoidance, lack of communication, etc