Updated: Mar 6
For most of us close relationships form the foundations of our lives. When we are faced with real life challenges, we say things like "we've still got each other", or "they're okay, that's all that matters" ... despite being a crucial emotional aspect of our lives, as time goes by other aspects of life seem to rise in importance and long term relationships often go neglected and underestimated.
Imagine having just moved into a new home, freshly painted, landscaped and furnished, you tell yourself you'll stay on top of it and always keep it looking this way and for a season or two it continues to look and work great, meeting all of your expectations. Summer comes and the grass begins to grow, bringing with it a few weeds. Autumn rains begin to fall, and the paint starts to peel. Winter arrives and boots tread dirt into carpets. As the seasons roll by wear and tear starts to show, closet doors hang loose, broken handles are left in disrepair, storage space is no longer sufficient. Imagine what the passage of time would do your property if neglected in this way year after year. For the most part we recognise the ravages of time and so without quibble we find ourselves pulling up weeds, hammering in loose nails, replacing handles, touching up paint and restoring furniture. Our homes will begin to look lived in but they will retain a freshness and pride.
Now look to your closest relationship, just like your new home your relationship worked perfectly for those first few seasons, but when the cracks started to show you were so busy taking care of all the other areas of your life that without realising it your relationship took a backseat. Is it any wonder after years of neglect that the weeds have grown up around the doors and that the paint is starting to peel!!
Relationship counselling can be invaluable in helping to navigate the personal and situational changes that have occured between couples over the years, allowing you both to come to a new level of appreciation for, and understanding of, your relationship. Emotionally Focussed Therapy aims to achieve this through restructuring negative communication patterns in an unbiased environment allowing couples to become empathic and emotionally available to one another without fear of criticism or judgement. Over time new, healthy attachments develop reinforcing the concept that the needs of both individuals are equally valid and establishing lasting and permanent change. This new level of understanding and ability to listen without prejudice creates a genuine opportunity for couples to explore the past, present and future states of their relationships. For many couples this results in a more intimate, peaceful and fulfilling life together but successful experiences of counselling can look quite different too. Reaching an amicable separation allows couples to move forwards without jeopardising their future happiness, and inadvertently that of their children, through unfounded, often misunderstood anger and resentment. Choosing to end a relationship can be as positive an outcome as choosing to stay together. Some couples find that they no longer have the same life goals that brought them together in the first place and working through some of the heavier emotions like guilt and shame that are often experienced when a relationship ends can secure a new-found acceptance that there should be no external pressures to sacrifice individually happy futures because of a shared past.
For a free initial consultation or to schedule an appointment call Diane Guy on 289 325 1241 or visit https://dgpsychotherapy.janeapp.com/