Feeling your relationship with your significant other is off-colour can lead to feelings of depression and a dark, impenetrable cloud to settle over you.
Your relationship feels under threat and at risk of quickly spiralling out of control.
Spotting the cracks
Not getting on is unsettling enough, as anyone can attest whose relationship has hit the point where it is no longer possible to feel in tune with each other. Often you can feel a mix of anger and helplessness as you struggle to imagine how matters can ever improve. The tendency can be to clam up as the hurdle of rescuing your relationship grows larger by the day.
If you add depression into the mix, as so often happens, then the confusion, desperation and anger can quickly become intensified. And, of course, the energy to explore or tackle the issues you both face quickly dissipates.
You are left feeling stuck, depressed and sporadically angry. The more you need to talk the less your talk becomes productive. Relationship therapy can help you start to disentangle the threads and start to find a way to explore your feelings and overcome the issues you face.
Big specific issues such as infidelity can bring you to relationship counselling as well as less defined but equally unsettling ones such as having lost touch with one another. You may feel you’re living increasingly separate lives, and it may seem that you no longer even speak the same language. On both sides there may be unfulfilled expectations that the partner should know what is needed but fails to deliver it. Nearly always there is the perception that all interactions have soured, become unhealthy and that any experience of joy has been sucked out of the relationship.
Relationship therapy can help you begin to look at how you interact with your partner and how this affects you both. Gradually it can help these interactions become more fulfilling and, as they do so, it helps you to grow as well. You’ll achieve greater self-awareness and deeper understanding of how you relate to others and you’ll look to achieve more fulfilling and lasting ways of relating.
Therapy explores the immediate issue and draws on your inner world, making sense of your upbringing then and who you are today. You will gain a better understanding about yourself, your behaviours, feelings and choices. Relationship therapy can also help individuals who want to explore past relationships or want help with looking more closely at difficulties with new ones.
Significant life events can awaken tucked away feelings and tensions occur in relationships. Working through these as a couple, in a safe environment with an experienced therapist, allows them to be explored, discussed and resolved. It can open up new ways of thinking about each other and the relationship, with improved communication and understanding as a result. Entering into couple therapy is a really big and positive step towards something being done and those dark clouds being lifted!
By Sonja Vetter