Relationships pose numerous difficulties. To thrive in them we have to able to identify and express our own needs, as well as understand and respond to the needs of our partners. Sometimes we need to be able to compromise, and other times we need to hold firm to what we want. When disagreements inevitably occur, we have to be able to communicate effectively afterwards, rather than withdrawing in resentment.
Mastering these difficulties in relationships is no easy task. When we feel hurt we will often reflexively defend ourselves in ways that cause more hurt, further alienating the people we care for. The type of open communication that helps create intimacy in these moments can be hard, if not impossible, to muster. It makes sense then that many of us find ourselves stuck in painful or unsatisfying relationships.
Relationship therapy can help us clarify our needs and how to communicate them effectively to our partners. We learn how we tend to react when hurt or anxious, and how to relate differently in those moments to foster greater connection. Relationship therapy can also help us clarify what behaviors from our partners we will and will not accept, and how to move forward if our partners ultimately cannot make us feel secure and loved. It takes courage to look at ourselves and our relationships so we can make changes, but it can be one of the most rewarding things that we ever do.