Remember when the differences between you and the one you love felt good, refreshing and even complimentary? Meeting someone who is different from ourselves can be a gift. A private view into a world not our own. Someone to suggest new foods, venues, activities; to be stretched and grateful for it. Those are the days of a couple in love.
Quite often couples complain of these differences in couples’ sessions.
“She always leaves her shoes and clothes all over the bedroom and expects...”
“If it wasn’t for me, we would be drowning in debt. I’m the saver and apparently the only one who...”
“You are so scheduled. Would it hurt you to be a little more spontaneous?!”
Remembering What it Felt Like to be a Couple in Love
Remember when you liked the fact that she captured your chaos and organized it? The days when you felt grateful that he pushed you and nudged you to spend money on yourself? When he helped you feel like you were worth it? What at one point made you feel complimentary and grateful, now leaves you feeling resentful and angry.
Where did it all go? How do partners lose each other in the process of it all? Couples often need to be reminded-gently nudged to go back and remember the early days. The days when it felt ok and even right to be different. When there was still enough trust in the relationship to reveal one’s true self and feel like it would be accepted and appreciated. To be loved, truly loved despite it all.
Is it Time for Couples Therapy?
Couples therapy can help take the relationship backwards, to a place of equality and trust where being different felt safe. Where black and white could find their way to a comforting gray, and maybe just maybe to a new place; a place resulting from the evolution of two people refusing to be stagnant and stuck. Two who more than anything want to find a life that feels congruent with the evolution of themselves as well as the relationship. Whether you feel the need to reconnect with your past selves or move to something new, therapy can help freshen up the relationship and create the connection you crave.
Gabrielle Anderson is the Director and a Therapist at the Family Therapy Center of Northern Virginia, llc
She and the other team members can be contacted directly from the Center's Meet the Team page.
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