Did you know that one of the most common reasons why couples come in to therapy is because they don’t know how to communicate? Fights are normal part of every relationship; the way we repair these fights is what can either strengthen or weaken the bond that you have with your partner.
Regardless of what the issue is the goal is to help you stay engaged in a difficult conversation, resolve fights, and deepen your connection with your spouse.
We all get stuck in vicious cycles…
Often, these awful arguments seem as if you and your partner were stuck in a vicious cycle that never ends. It is a pattern! You impact each other a lot because you love each other. Every couple out there has a pattern or a cycle that plays out differently depending on the circumstances.
It is not uncommon that while in the heat of a fight, you start predicting what the other one will say or do. You learn how the fights will start and end. Usually, it all starts with what your partner did or said. Maybe he/she forgot your anniversary; maybe you received “that look” again or you heard “that tone of voice.”
When one of these behaviours happens, within seconds, we start creating “stories” about our partners and the situation itself (e.g. “He was late, he must not care about me.”) Our perceptions start to colour everything else. Anger, frustration, and upset seeps in. We want to fight back, defend or shoot down our partner.
That may sound like: “You always……you never……how dare you” Blame and attacking starts and your vicious cycle officially takes over the conversation. This type of cycle is classic. You might also find yourself in a cycle where you pursue your partner, but your partner leaves and withdraws. Regardless of the type of cycle you have, you end up feeling disconnected, hurt, and lonely.
In couple therapy you can learn how to step out of your vicious cycle!
In couple therapy, you will firstly become aware of the type of cycle you engage in with your partner.
Together we will work on slowing down your regular patterns of interaction so that you can discover what the fight is really about. We practice recognizing how your emotional responses, while understandable, may be perpetuating a negative cycle. Couple therapy will help you discover the parts of the cycle that are not easily seen or talked about.
Once the cycle is slowed down enough, you will be helped to experience your partner in a different way—maybe the way that made you first fall in love with him/her. Finally, couple therapy will teach you how simple (yet really difficult) stepping out of the cycle can be. Once you reach that, you start creating a new, positive cycle that will ensure safety in your relationship and further help you in times of stress.