Couples often come into couples counseling sharing how the smallest or seemingly insignificant details of life are usually the topic of fights. So many of us have found ourselves fighting over mundane parts of our lives and end up hurting each other in such big ways. I often describe it as a tornado that once moving seems to pull every little thing into itself in a way that feel out of control. Stronger feelings are often showing themselves in romantic relationships, making romantic relationships harder then just a friendship.
Upon an honest examination in couples counseling people find that the content of fights isnt what they where fighting about. Unmet needs or past hurts, if left unhealed can continue to find new avenues to be acted out on each other. The first step in stopping this reactive fighting is to become aware of what is really being played out between two people. If you can be minful of the motivation you have a chance at trying to work out the larger issues underneath.
Vulnerability and speaking from our hearts is a skill many of us posses, just find it difficult when we feel hurt, betrayed or angry. All our good sense just goes out the window . The toughest work in couples counseling is stpping the reactive, defensive and blaming behavior and speak directly to how you feel and what you are needing for yourself in the relationship. You may feel like you have tried this and failed, or the need was never met. Even though that may be true, coming back to the core issue and staying there is still the only way to mend it. Once two people start to act respectfully and become safe, I find it amazing how often new ideas and willingness can be inspired for both parties.
Once two people understand each other, feel more connected and willing , goals can be created by the couple that will be the groundwork for meeting each others needs and healing the past hurtful behavior. A good therapists can keep the maintenance practices alive , by continuing to hold each person responsible for their intentions and practices. Focusing on appreciation, friendship and sweetness are a big part of healing up past hurts and is usually giving as homework as well.