Written By: Dr. Martin Rovers
Two things can bring partners to couple therapy: enough love or enough pain. Enough love means that I can see something wrong with our relationships and, out of love for self and my partner; I suggest couple therapy to make our relationships stronger. I am willing and able to do the work required to make us a stronger couple and a better marriage. However, most people come to couple therapy out of enough pain: there is trouble in the relationship and both partners are hurting and so someone calls for help. The pain can be around a breakdown in communication, emotional distance, poor sex life, incompatible parenting skills, in-law interference, or, the most common reason, family of origin wounds are now dancing in the couple relationships. In the pain, we seek couple therapy.
And couple therapy is a smart and wise decision to make. When we have physical pain, we see a medical doctor, for dental pain, we see the dentist, and for couple emotional pain, we need to see the couple expert: the couple therapist. And the sooner we seek help in couple therapy, the easier and faster the matter can be brought to resolution and harmony, and love restored. Wise partners seek couple therapy; fearful partners wait too long and, all too often, end up with a lawyer’s session. Calling for couple therapy today is a wise first step.
All couple relationships need help! Peck* states that falling in love lasts anywhere from three months to three years, longer if you are lucky, but we all fall out of love, and couple therapy is one place to learn and practice the art of making love grow and heal. We all have to move from “falling in love” to “loving” and that is more than just love and lust: it includes love, passion, and commitment, and learning the art of loving.
In my book, Healing the Wounds in Couple Relationships**, I suggest that we all need to learn and do the work of love: knowing ourselves, being responsible for our contribution to the couple problem, learning to talk and touch in healing ways, and working towards a more secure and loving bond through couple therapy.
Dr. Martin Rovers, Psychologist, Marriage and Family Therapist with Capital Choice Counselling Group