A relationship is about two imperfect people each doing their best

Relationships are not always plain sailing We all have different experiences, and growing up our family systems will have been different - but to you, they will seem perfectly normal!  So when disagreements arise and finding an acceptable solution that you are both happy with it can be tricky.

Life events outside of your control can create a strain on even the strongest partnership. They can include serious ill health, redundancy, financial issues, and blended families. The list is endless. 

However much you love each other, its not surprising there are times when you find it difficult to find a solution that you both feel happy with.

At these times communication can break down causing endless bickering over trivialities, or just avoiding talking about the issues all together, which just cause deep resentments. 

 

The relationship can become neglected, with each looking outside the relationship to fill the void they feel the relationship no longer offers. Engrossing themselves in work or hobbies, or even affairs.

'Thank you for last night's session. You provided a kind and gentle space, and lots of listening. You also managed a tricky start very well. I am very happy that xxxx felt it okay to talk. He was very uncomfortable about coming and I admire him for doing so. I also know that he wouldn't hesitate to walk out at any point'. Pauline

We all have baggage we've collected along the way and unfortunately, it can affect our relationships.

Childhood Trauma

Sadly, there are those who have experienced trauma in childhood leaving them with mental scars from physical, emotional or sexual abuse. These unhealed wound can continue to affect them and their relationships into their adult life.

These traumas can be the result of  -

  • intentional violence—such as physical or sexual abuse

  • domestic violence

  • natural disaster

  • accidents

  • war.

  • painful medical procedures

  • the sudden loss of a parent/caregiver.

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The Effects of Childhood Trauma on Relationships can be Devastating

Whilst desperately seeking the love, security and reassurance they may have lacked as a child, it can also feel very scary to allow themselves to be vulnerable and permit the very things they crave into their lives. 

 

The concerns that arise are often around -  

  • Being unable to trust

  • Feeling unworthy of being loved

  • Viewing intimacy as dangerous or unpleasant

Often it can feel almost impossible to make sense of feelings and responses, let alone being able to share them with with a partner.

However loving that relationship may be there are times when those unhealed traumas can cause negative reactions that have nothing to do with their partner.

Below are some of the resulting reactions - 

  • Extreme reactions to common relationship issues

  • Withdrawal or distant, unresponsive behaviour

  • Inability to talk through issues in a calm way,

  • Fear of conflict

  • Flaring into uncontrollable rage.

  • Belief their partner will abandon them, which can result in controlling behaviour towards their partner.

  • Sexual difficulties

  • Difficulty in accepting love

  • Doubts around partner’s fidelity

 

 

 

Often, neither the survivor or their partner can understand why it still affects them.

Comments such as those below are frequently made -

  • 'This trauma happened so long ago why does it have an affect now?'

  • 'Get over it, just move on!'

  • 'It’s all in your head'

  • 'I just don’t get it'

  • 'Why me and why now?'

  • 'It’s your problem – you need to get help'

Whilst my last statement is true and it’s really helpful to seek individual therapy to help heal the wound, it doesn’t address the problems that affect the relationship.

I believe couples who are in a loving relationship need to work together on their relationship. Each needs to hear what the other is struggling with and understand each other's perspective and learn positive ways to support themselves and each other.

At the same time, each needs time to be able to talk honestly on their own about their fears and concerns around the relationship. Once they have done that, they often feel more comfortable sharing these with their partner.

I don't see any point in blaming the other, it's the relationship that's not working as well as it could !
So let's 'work together to fix that 

By working together in this unique way couples have experienced the following results  - 

  • Being happier and more relaxed with each other

  • Able to communicate freely, expressing their thoughts honestly without conflict

  • Feeling safe and secure emotionally and financially

  • Each are committed to the relationship even through the tough times

  • Their opinions are acknowledged respectfully and without criticism

  • Connected at a deeper level, and an equal partnership

  • A better understanding of each other  - even when they think there is nothing new to learn!

  • Secure in the knowledge that each is the most important person in the other's life

  • Supported by each other in personal challenges and goals

To arrange an informal chat, get in touch 

There is no time like the present,

Wendy