Couples and Marriage
Many couples face problems when it comes to healthy, assertive and respectful communication. It can be difficult to talk with someone who communicates in a different way than you do. You or your partner may say things like ‘My partner doesn’t listen to me’ or ‘We don’t talk’ or ‘We always fight’. There will always be challenges in learning to communicate with an intimate partner, because you are two individual people learning and growing alongside each other. It can be very helpful to have an impartial and non-judgemental mediator present to help guide you as you learn new ways of interacting. Relationship or marriage counselling can help you learn to communicate and understand your needs as a couple.
Trust is an important part of relationship and marriage counselling. When the bond of trust between two people has been broken, it can feel impossible to repair it again. Or, maybe you or your partner has a long-standing issue with trusting others and it is difficult to establish it in the first place. You may use words like ‘I can’t trust my partner’ or ‘My partner has been unfaithful and I cannot trust them ever again’. You may feel that your partner is ‘sneaking around’ or hiding something from you. Trust is often said to be something that is earned, and it is important, if both people desire it, to openly and honestly work through the issue that caused the bond of trust to be lost so that both people can resume their relationship and move forward with love and forgiveness.
Like trust, intimacy is not always something that is freely given and received in relationships. Feeling close to another person can often mean feeling vulnerable, and many people find discomfort in that. This may cause them to pull away from their partner’s touch, or reject their partner’s intimate advances. On the other hand, some people have such strong emotions and such a strong need for intimacy that they give it indiscriminately and seem to ‘fall in love’ with a new person every week. Partners may feel either smothered or neglected. Their partner’s affections may turn to jealousy or resentment if they don’t feel they are being reciprocated. It is crucial to the success of the relationship that both people recognize their own way of thinking about and dealing with intimacy, and that they can communicate this to their partner.
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