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The Rewards of a Loving Relationship Are Awesome!

 

Why do people go for couples/marriage counselling? To change things; to make things better.

Some of the symptoms of a failing relationship include: lack of sex, financial incompatibility, abuse, lack of communication. Many feel a lack of connection, a separation that leads to feelings of loneliness, and an actual lack of "spark" between partners.

We are a product of our life experiences, especially the early years. We are imprinted by our early relationships. When you have a relationship where you have been abused, your brain is shaped around the impact of that kind of treatment. Because of this mindset, it is probable that people who leave their marriage and don't work at understanding themselves better and make the necessary changes to see that the relationship has a chance, they will find themselves having similar problems in their next relationship. (They have to take themselves with them). We traded in one partner only to discover the same issues surfacing with the new partner.

"This is the way I am. You knew that when you married me!" I am so weary of hearing this worn out, irresponsible response to justify poor behaviour that I want to scream. First, when one chooses to be in a relationship it means thinking about another person who probably sees the world very differently than you do. Being different from one another is just a starter. Now add in the fact that we change over the years- kids come along, financial problems occur, parents die, jobs get terminated, the house gets flooded, and on and on. What begins to happen is we start building up and keeping score of the resentments that result when we live together. We get angry at each other, arguments occur, and we stop talking/communicating with each other.

"If you don't want to talk because 'that's the way you are' or because you feel I am not listening (which can also mean I don't agree with you), then I will simply nod my head, agree with you, and give up my need to be heard. Eventually I will just go somewhere else where someone else will listen to me."

This lack of or poor communication in a relationship may not spell the end of the relationship but in most cases it certainly spells the end to intimacy.

Couples come for therapy in the hope of rekindling the passion that was once in their relationship. I don't discourage them from thinking this way, but I do remind them that their present feelings have been affected by their experiences together- kids, finances, deaths, aging, and whatever else life has thrown at them. Perhaps they need to consider starting a new relationship with each other; one based on honest communication and much appreciation and caring.

"I deserve to be happy", "I deserve love-after all I have done for you..."  If 'deserve' means you get something for past service or it's automatic, then you had better get rid of those beliefs if you're interested in receiving respect and love from your partner. Certainly one partner doesn't deserve more than the other. In fact, nobody deserves anything! You earn it! Partners have to keep giving respect, caring, and love daily. This is the principle of reciprocation, (I do for you, you will do for me). Of course this principle doesn't always work but where you have a strong relationship, it does.

I would say that if partners are willing to change, to "Make your partner's day better", to learn to be a better communicator (better listener, better speaker, one who understands that how you say something is more important than what you say), then "Bliss" can happen!

The rewards of being in a loving relationship are awesome, but there is a price to pay in that we must learn to be a master communicator. One doesn't have to be born to or come from a family of good communicators. Communication skills can be learned.

Dan

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