Good couples don’t fight, right? Wrong! According to the Gottman Institute, you can fight all the time and still be in a healthy relationship.
In fact, emotionally-connected couples experience a series of connections and disconnections everyday. What separates happy from unhappy couples is whether they can repair. Repair?
What exactly does that mean? Repair is the secret weapon of emotionally-connected couples. Repair is the shared act of processing and moving back into a state of connection.
No matter how often you and your partner fight, if you can repair their is hope for your relationship!
No Relationship Is Perfect
As a marriage counselor and couples therapist, I get nervous when someone tells me they never fight with their partner. No one can be there for their partner 100% of the time. We are all fallible human beings and mistakes are bound to happen.
Dr. Gottman has shown that couples are usually available for their partner 9% of the time. This means that 91% of the time we will feel like our partner is not available to meet our needs. These are not great odds! This seems like a recipe for disaster. No wonder relationships are so difficult!
But there is hope! That our partners will sometimes hurt us and be unavailable is not a death sentence. Despite these failures of connection and support, the key is what you and your partner do with them. If you can repair the disconnection you can move back into connection.
Repair Starts With Processing
Processing what happened in a conflict requires two important things:
1. Understand the Reason You Feel Hurt
In any conflict there’s the issue at hand and then there’s the deeper hurt. A wife that gets upset when her husband forgets a birthday card is not only upset about this issue. This symbolizes her deeper hurt of loved ones forgetting her. Everyone has these deeper hurts from childhood that we bring into our relationships.
2. Making Amends
After you recognize that the conflict connected to a deeper hurt, it's important to make amends. For most people this includes a verbal apology and some type of action that follows.
A good apology includes not only that, “You’re sorry” but how your words or actions hurt your partner. I recommend that couples hold hands and look into each other’s eyes when they are apologizing.
Verbal apologies are necessary but sometimes not sufficient unless backed up by action. One you have identified the action that caused the hurt, working to do better next time demonstrates to your spouse or partner your commitment to them.
Repair Ends With Reconnection
After you process (identifying the deeper issue and apologizing), you reconnect. There are many ways to pursue reconnection with your partner.
One path is to compliment your partner. Tell them what you admire and appreciate about them. Remind them of all the things you are thankful for about them being in your life.
Another path is seeking physical connection. Sit next to your partner on the couch and cuddle as you watch a movie. Take a warm bath together and hold each other. Set aside time for a romantic evening where you can connect physically and enjoy each other’s presence.
Begin Marriage Counseling or Couples Therapy at Katy Teen & Family Counseling
At our Katy, Tx location of Katy Teen & Family Counseling, our marriage therapists and couples counselors can help. Sometimes the challenges can feel insurmountable. We have helped marriages and couples restore hope, trust, and connected, loving relationships.
If you are ready to start your healing journey at Katy Teen & Family Counseling, all you need to do is follow these three simple steps:
Contact Katy Teen & Family Counseling
Start your journey in reconnecting with your spouse or partner
Other Therapy and Counseling Services Offered at Katy Teen & Family Counseling: Serving Katy, Tx & The Houston Area
It is not uncommon to have the stress of parenting a struggling teen to have an impact on the marriage or relationship. There are also times when the marriage or relationship is impacted by choices, actions, and decisions by one partner.
At Katy Teen & Family Counseling, our marriage counselors and couples therapists can help. We provide marriage counseling and couples therapy to help strengthen your relationship and the foundation of your family.
Below are a few of the other counseling services we provide for teens, families, and young adults in Katy, Tx and Houston:
Peak performance (optimal academic brain performance)
Peak performance (optimal athletic brain performance)
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR Therapy)
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
About the Author
If you're ready to start your healing journey in marriage counseling or couples therapy, you can call us at 346-202-4662 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.