Have you stopped communicating or is your communication angry and bitter?
Couples have stopped adequately communicating by the time they come to see our counsellors at PCCS Mediators & Counsellors. They have many unresolved issues that lead to arguments and increased resentment. Most often, each person feels that the other doesn’t care about them anymore. The anger between them has built up because their differences have never been addressed and resolved. Where there was once friendship, intimacy and love between them, and when they could talk about anything, they now feel resentful, angry, or are afraid to say what they feel or think. Plus their sex life is non-existent.
During counselling, the Counsellor helps couples to communicate their feelings and thoughts to one another in a respectful way. Further, the Counsellor helps them work through their differences and remember what they first liked and enjoyed about one another. Some strategies for rekindling that important connection you once had are outlined below, and are best facilitated by a knowledgeable and skillful couple’s Counsellor:
1) Don’t blame your partner for the problems in the relationship. Seek to understand your partner’s feelings and thoughts about people and things without being defensive. There are two of you in this relationship. Your partner may think differently than they did years ago just as you might do.
2) Be realistic and clear on what you need and want in the relationship. Be direct in asking for it. Your partner is not a mind reader. If that need or want cannot be met, is there a compromise, or are their other solutions to the differences in your needs and wants?
Remember to request what you want from your partner in concrete terms rather than complain.
3) Do not blame your partner over and over again for things that happened five, ten, or even twenty years ago. If you are still feeling resentful, then work this through with the assistance of the Counsellor in order to let it go and focus on the future of the relationship.
4) Remember that your partner is a person with sensitivities, weaknesses, and strengths. Demonstrate empathy, provide encouragement, and provide positive reinforcement for their many attributes.
5) Be patient. It takes time to rebuild the relationship.
Couple counselling will help both parties to identify their needs and wants as well as communicate these directly with one another. Where there are differences the counsellor will help both parties come to a resolution. Through counselling, partners can find joy in one another again and feel cherished and cared about like they used to.
By Wendy Ross MSW, RSW (PCCS Counsellor)by