They maybe afraid that the relationship will never change but may not even know what they are afraid of There is so much chaos that there is usually despair and depression. Both may decide to stay with it but can't function. Over the years of working with couples, I have developed an effective way to help them arrive at a relationship they can both be happy with. I find that what couples need is part education in a set of skills and part exploration of experience that aims to resolve the difficulties couples trip over in their private lives.
Experience has demonstrated to me that the causes of behavior and human experience a complex and include elements that are biological, psychological, social, contextual, and even spiritual.
For many generations the answer lay in a productive life of work and service in which the reward of happiness would be ours, in Heaven. Here, it's clear, we are unlikely to find it easily.
Couples today are struggling with something new--to build relationships based on genuine feelings of equality.
Yet the quality of our closest relationships is often what gives life its primary meaning.
Intimacy, I have come to believe, is not just a psychological fad, a rallying cry of contemporary couples. Shortly after I began my career as a family therapist I was working in a residential treatment center where troubled teenage boys were sent by the courts.
When I brought the boys together with their families, through processes I had not learned about in graduate school, it transformed the therapy. For the adolescent boys, their problems were typically rooted in the often-troubled relationships between their parents.
The disappointment couples experience is based on misunderstanding and misperception.
If first there is illusion, and then disillusion, what follows is confusion.
There is a great deal of unhappiness as each partner struggles to get the relationship to be what each of them needs or wants it to be. One may be placating in the expectation that he or she will eventually be rewarded by the other.
Compounding the wide-scale deprivation of intimacy we actually experience, our cultural talent for commercialization has separated out sex from intimacy.
In fact, intimacy involves both emotional and physical closeness and openness.
As a result, we are without role models for the very relationships we need.