Relationships - When couples are all at sea

When two people meet and fall in love they co-create a vessel in which they form their relationship. This unique container exists for the duration of the relationship but when the couple becomes disconnected it can disintegrate quickly making it difficult to stay afloat.

Together in this container and without any clear instructions as to how to create a successful relationship we must learn how to navigate with our partners. Therefore, if we're unable to find co-operative means of communicating and working together a relationship can go off course or break apart in which case we can literally find ourselves - 'all at sea'.

In the initial stages when we're forging our relationship we set off in search of paradise and what may begin as plain sailing can soon veer into uncharted and stormy territory. Here, conflicts and disagreements threaten to destroy our feelings of safety and our sense of connection. So when the unpredictable yet inevitable storms arrive paradise can suddenly seem to have vanished from view. We now find ourselves wondering how we're ever going to get to where we want to be.

As human beings the breakdown of connection in our relationships is very painful and this loss is at the heart of anxiety and confusion within the dynamic of a couple. In moments of conflict, rather than realising our yearning for re-connection, we may lash out with blame and criticism and in doing so create even more disconnection. In this action we're actually pleading for connection and protesting its loss.

Counselling can provide a safe container in which couples can re-define and re-build their relationship and therefore enable a more conscious and mature partnership. As such therapy can provide a life-line back into reconnection and help us get to where we need to be.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author. All articles published on Counselling Directory are reviewed by our editorial team.

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London, WC1A
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Written by Neil Turner, MA, UKCP, MBACP | Psychotherapy | Adults and Couples
London, WC1A

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