There are lots of things going on in the media at the moment about Couples Counselling or as I like to call it Couples Coaching, especially following Michelle Obama’s honest and open comments about how she and Barack have worked with a Couples Therapist at times in their (almost) three decades together. To the outside world they look like a pretty perfect couple, but she acknowledges in her new book that they have needed to work at it, it’s not always been easy. Only a few weeks ago it was David Beckham who made big news when he was reported in the press as saying that life with Victoria was at times ‘hard work’.
But hey isn’t that the point, long term relationships do require some hard work, when we say ‘till death us do part’, we need to remember that these days that can mean a life span that is double what it would have been in past centuries.
So why do we do it, why do we still want to get married? Well we humans are drawn to committed relationships because we share a need for security and connection, but we also have a need (which can be just as strong) for excitement and maybe even a little adventure. So it becomes a balancing act, as we try to maintain some equilibrium in the life we share with our ‘special other’. A lot of the couples that I work with have become bored. Yes they like the safety of sharing a home and perhaps even the feeling that they know the person that they share a bed with ‘inside out’. But they’re also desperate for a tiny bit of risk and uncertainty, which of course is why lots fall into the trap of grasping at affairs in order to meet that particular need. What I would like to propose is that it is possible with a little thought and ingenuity to create the same thrill within the committed relationship, without the need for betrayal with all the heartache and anxiety that causes.
Working on your relationship together with a Relationship Coach can be a rewarding, fun experience and is certainly a lot more cost effective than separation or divorce. I find that reminding yourselves of what it was that attracted you to each other in the first place is always a good starting point!!
I love working with couples on their ‘relationship issues’, helping them to improve the way they communicate with each other, to find the words that say what it is they really need, what it is that will enable them to feel happy, relaxed and excited within that special relationship.
Couples often think that they know everything that there is to know about their partner, well we can all second guess what the other person is going to say in answer to a certain question or situation, like on the old tv show Mr and Mrs from years ago, but that doesn’t mean that we know what is really going on in their mind, how could we? Every single one of us in completely unique, nobody can ever know all the experiences that we have had, the memories that we have stored away, the values and beliefs, those rules for life that were passed down to us by those around us as we grew up. Isn’t that what makes us interesting?
Couples Coaching encourages partners to look for and celebrate the differences between them, to be excited by the bits that they don’t know and languish in the security that surrounds the bits that they do know.
Lesley Downs is a Relationship Coach based in Chichester, West Sussex.