Relationship Rescue Blog
Everyone’s needs are different, but we can all learn something from the experience of others. From time to time I share some Relationship Rescue tips in my Blog here.
I hope you find it helpful on your journey towards rescuing your relationship.
When my business phone rings, I often hear the voice of a distressed female who has been begging her partner repeatedly to get professional help to save their marriage relationship. Frequently the wife or woman in the relationship even threatens her partner with divorce to persuade them to finally come to couples therapy.
Read more: Beginning the Relationship Rescue Journey
When your relationship is just not working and you have a need for relationship counselling, then what type of therapist or counsellor should you look for?
Many people get a referral from a doctor. Doctors tend to set you on the relationship psychology path and generally refer to psychologists because they are often part of the clinic and the Medicare system. However, in general, most psychologists’ training specialises in the diagnosis and treatment of mental health issues such as anxiety, depression, personality disorders and other mental conditions. Their speciality overall, is not couple or marriage counselling.
Read more: Which should I choose: Relationship Psychology or Relationship Counselling?
You might wonder why I have chosen this career. Put simply, I like a challenge. Why else would I have chosen such a demanding career? Believe me, in my work as a marriage/couples therapist, I get all the challenges but also rewarding moments, that I wish for. However, it is worth it in the end. Not only do many of my couples leave with enriched and healthier relationships but they have also transformed as individuals and have developed better life skills and a stronger self-worth.
Read more: Helping rescue your relationship is a two-way street
The most obvious indicator that the relationship is not going well is the way in which tricky conversations begin. Often discussions with harsh 'start-ups' are charged with criticism and sarcasm (a form of ‘contempt’). Research shows that if your discussions begin 'harshly' they will generally end on a negative note.
Read more: When ‘relationship talks’ get off to a bad start
When partners present for couples therapy they are generally way past the phase in their relationship when they felt deeply connected and their love for each other was almost unconditional. Somehow the warm glow and energy of the relationship seems to have died. Worse still, there is a new negative dynamic that has gradually snuck into their relationship described by Dr. John Gottman (leading research scientist on Marriage and Family), as ‘contempt’. If you feel your relationship has sunk to this level, not all is lost. There is probably still hope.
Read more: Keeping your marriage, your relationship and love alive
Most couples fall into the same negative argument pattern or dance without actually realising it. They are then trapped by this dance and with its repetition it can do significant damage to the relationship. These conflict patterns can vary but there are some standout dance routines.
Read more: ‘Destructive Couple’ Dancing
Couples often find themselves in a negative conflict dance. We dance around an old and familiar pattern of conflict behaviour. To stop from entering and being stuck in old behaviour pattern, partners need to discuss their respective deeper feelings that have been triggered and lie beneath.
Read more: Why does my partner get so angry with me?