Considering Couple Therapy
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Considering Couple Therapy 

מאת    [ 20/11/2020 ]
מילים במאמר: 530   [ נצפה 120 פעמים ]

 
 

Let’s face it, folks. Living with another adult is rarely straightforward. Hopefully, we share the fulfillment (“nachas”) of childrearing, the joys of meaningful experiences and the peace of mind resulting from heightened stability and security. However, each of us comes with our own deep-seated issues and vulnerabilities, distinct family cultures, values and expectations, and (usually) gender differences.

 Much has been written on the “ezer kenegdo” (opposite/opposing aide) quality of a life partner, since a degree of tension is necessarily structured into the equation. We are unavoidably different, yet are deeply affected by what our partner says and does. Efficiency requires some division of responsibility, and we have a huge stake in one another’s successes and failures – in work, in parenting, socially. We spend substantial chunks of our time in often radically different environments, where the demands and expectations influence our development and frame of mind. 

But where this interpersonal tension has the greatest impact on our quality of life is in the manner in which we relate to and with one another. Whether we make time for, and take care of, one another or live parallel lives; Whether we learn to accept and appreciate the differences or live our relationship as a battlefield of mutual disappointment; Whether we can define and express our needs and vulnerabilities or live with frustration and blame our partner for insensitivity.

 These are the issues that largely determine whether our marriage entails suffering and tolerance or is a springboard of opportunity and growth. As a therapist, it may sound self-serving to say, but it’s what I believe: One of the best gifts a couple can give to one another is the opportunity to discuss and improve the nature and quality of their relationship.

Unfortunately, it is rather uncommon for both spouses to agree to couple therapy, unless they reach a crisis. I dare say that this is like doing nothing about an illness until it becomes debilitating.

 Your partner may wish to avoid feeling blamed, deserved or not, or they (often men) feel that they should be able to “fix” the situation without third party intervention. Hence, getting your partner to agree may take time, coaxing or a serious intensification of the conflict to motivate them for attendance.

Once you do agree to seek counseling, however, assume that both you and your partner are contributing to the patterns of your relationship. It is tempting – even natural – to believe that your partner is the primary (or sole) source of the distress, but change is unlikely unless you both take responsibility.

 Couple therapy will provide insights into your respective roles and contributions, so that you are better able to appreciate the positive and make changes where necessary. It will also equip you with more effective strategies to resolve conflict and set priorities.

 If you are aware that your primary relationship is lacking, seek assistance. It is not an admission of failure, nor does it have to be a long-term commitment. There is truly nothing more significant to the quality of your life than improving this relationship.

Randy Tischler, MSW, MFT
Couple & Family Therapist, Psychotherapist, Mediator
23 Rashi Street, Tel-Aviv
Tel: 054-810-3550
www.here4u.co.il

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