“To love, and to be loved, is the greatest happiness of existence” – Sydney Smith
For many, there is no greater joy than falling in love, and no greater pain, than to fall out of it.
Relationships come in many different forms, but what universally draws us together is a desire for love and connection.
When we first meet our partner, the beginning days, months and even years can be blissful. Yet, overtime, something happens. The relationship that, at first, brought so much joy, has now become a source of pain. However, this doesn’t have to be the end of the story.
“Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate” – C.G. Jung
Never is this quote truer than with relationships. We are relational beings. One of our first tasks as we arrive on this planet is to form connections. Without them, we cannot survive, and thus our need for relationship is embedded deep within our being. As such, it is our earliest experience in relationship, which creates maps that shape our thinking, feelings and behaviour in our current partnerships.
This can create havoc as our strategies for navigating relationships painfully collide. For example, partner 1 feels the absence of the other, so criticises and demands from them in an attempt to bring them back. However, partner 2 receives this interaction as a painful attack. Partner 2 thus hides emotionally and/or physically, only to come out again once the threat has receded. This withdrawal then triggers the first partner’s initial fears and the cycle repeats itself, escalating over time.
If the couple remain unaware of this cycle, it will grow until the couple can see nothing else and, eventually, it will tear them apart.
Though we don’t see it at the time, so often we unconsciously choose the person that has just the right wounding to deeply trigger our own unconscious pain. This may seem like unfathomable madness, but here in lays a message of profound hope.
If the cycle can be identified and de-escalated, new understanding can be brought into the relationship, which can repair, transform and renew the partnership. Just as what is unconscious controls us, correspondingly, that which is brought to light can be understood, laid to rest, and given new agency to create a different today and tomorrow.
As such, even in those relationships where separation is chosen as the best outcome, this can be done in a kinder and less adversarial manner. Allowing partners to come together and create an optimum ending for all those involved.
In relationship, truly, all the wounded parts of us come up for healing. Relationships thus offer us a place for healing and fundamental change like no other.
We’re interested in beginning couples therapy, what should we do next?
If you are interested in beginning couples therapy, you can email me to arrange a free phone consultation, to discuss if therapy is suitable for your situation. This conversation will give you the opportunity to ask any questions you may have, and we can book an initial session if appropriate.
What will happen in the initial session?
In the initial session, we will meet and talk through what has brought you both into therapy. This is a great place to ask any questions you may have and for us all to see if we work well together.
At the end of this session, if you decide you want to continue, we can book you in for your next session. Alternatively, if you feel you need time to think about what you want to do next, you are free to go with no obligation to continue.