Living with another can be difficult. Over time struggles develop, from small to large. When a struggle becomes serious, unclear communication and mutual misunderstanding usually create a toxic soil where problems grow.
Despite the pain and unhappiness that comes with struggle, hope for working things out exists when love and friendship have been an earlier part of the couple’s story. I look for the healthy positives that exist within the couple, sometimes buried yet still present.
In a married couple or in another form of partnership, I see each member as an individual, with his or her own set of emotional issues, as well as a partner in the dyad. I do not believe that the problem is always evenly divided between the partners. Sometimes one member’s vulnerabilities unbalance the relationship and evoke a further unbalancing response from the other. This creates an ongoing dynamic that eventually develops a secondary life of its own. Mistakenly this dynamic appears to be the primary problem. It’s not.
Often there’s an unbalance in the degree of psychological mindedness within the couple. In these situations the insightful partner’s understandings of her mate can bring a perspective into the treatment that would never have emerged in his individual sessions since he would not have known that a part of him existed as a problem. With information from this perspective the individual, and subsequently the couple, find a new equilibrium.