Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Couples therapy

I watched my parents relationship cycle between hot and cold for two decades.
They either loved one another passionately or ignored one another... or worse.
Their reality taught me a few things about relationships but namely one glaring truth.

They are not easy.

And while we'd like to say, "It's different this time!" and "You know he's the one when it comes EASY," the reality of the situation is that the beginning is what comes with ease.

But over time, issues arise.
There's conflicting views on hot topics, the idea that creating boundaries is necessary, but that you each have your own idea of what they should be.
And eventually there's the realization that you've allowed a whole person into your life, not just the parts you so easily fell in love with.

So what's a couple to do when their relationship-love-cycle is hovering mostly over unhappiness?

If the conflicts seem too great, or the good times are only a memory, many couples agree to therapy in an attempt to find the happiness they once shared when things were easy.

But I wonder...

Is therapy the answer?

Or is it just evidence of two people who aren't committed enough to leave a failing relationship?


Sten said...

I think therapy CAN be the answer - if both people really want to make it work. In a session you might feel more comfortable saying out loud the things that need to be said ... where as arguing at home often leaves one or both keeping feelings in to keep the peace.

Alice said...

Nope, doesn't work.

Chrissie said...

i can't help but wonder if couple's therapy makes people rehash things they should just forget about... although i've never done it so i can't say for sure that this is the case...

but sometimes "talking about things" isn't the answer, there are those times where i think it's best to agree to disagree...

Mohawk said...

the only reason therapy doesnt work is the people involved are looking for a quick fix. relationships are only easy when you do the hard things that make them work, communication and honesty. the reason therapy rehashes thing is because you should have talked about it and worked it out a long time ago instead of just forgetting about it.

therapy lets you argue / discuss your problems as opposed to thinking that real couples dont argue. Squeeky and i argue all the time, but we do it in little bursts and end them with talking and jokes to lighten the mood.

not everyone is a psych major but everyone should look at relationships like getting rock hard '6 pack' abs;

sure you can get them on your own, but for a lot of people its easier with a personal trainer there coaching you through it.

The only time i would say dont seek therapy is when you just dont trust the other person anymore, no trust = no relationship of any kind.

aka the Ralph Man said...

I don't see a problem with it at all. Never done it, but I don't think I ever had a relationship that was worth it. I have however seen many relationships that could use some therapy. An I bet it would work wonders. Not cause it's an educated shrink per say, but merely a 3rd party to listen and to each person in the relationship together... and then give group advice.

In a sense it's a lot like what you girls do here... open objective stuff discussed as such... it's the one-sided relationship/dating advice you get elsewhere friends, gossip, dude/chick mags etc... that always sounds good and works as a quick fix but leads to bigger problems down the road...

aka the Ralph Man said...

counter argument:

I'd hate to pay for that type of service and taking the time out of my lazy schedule for this (unless it would guarantee a better sex life)

U don't know me said...

Therapy is not going to magically transform a partner into the person you want them to be and vise versa, but a good counselor can help you both decide whether or not you can work through your differences.

I think the best thing therapist do is teach people how to communicate. So key.

And I think a lot of people who allow their mates to step all over them could use some self-esteem counseling. Find out what issues they have that have allowed them to be taken advantage of over and over. Work on you first, and then your relationship will improve.

Just thoughts, ramblings. not meant towards anyone specific! I hardly have answers, just opinions :-)