Relationship Stuckness

As a marriage and family therapist,  naturally I see  couples in my office.  As you could image they come in to therapy  in different shapes and sizes.  (By that I mean in different places) Some have come in after a recent problem or issue.  Some have had long standing problems  and unresolved conflicts that they put under the rug until they ran out of space under the rug!

What always amazes me(I work with couples not to communicate in absolutes[always/never] is their resilience to pain and discomfort; how couples can handle so much before they recognize a need for help. 

What I understand is that it is the fear of “looking under the rug” that keeps people from examining their relationship issues.  And like all fears it is in a “fight or flight” mode–in this case flight, that keeps them in that avoidance.  Apparently the fear is greater than the pain, therefore they are not willing to go to therapy.  They may seek out self help books, tapes, dvds.  They may go to couples retreats. Some may intuitively recognize the solution to the  problems, but  do not have the tools to fix it.  Some of these solutions work, but sometimes as people have told me, the change didn’t last.

What eventually happens is that couple realizes that they   need to do therapy. Once that occurs, then people will pick up that “10,000 pound telephone” and start the process of change.

 I would love to find a way to bypass this whole process, but recognize that this process although painful, scary, and   frustrating is a necessary step towards positive change and ultimately (hopefully)  marital satisfaction and happiness.

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