Why is it so common for couples to experience distress in their relationship? Most of us know first hand that after Mr Perfect meets Mrs Perfect they don’t live happily ever after. The ‘after’ can at times be quite distressing and result in conflict, or living parallel lives. what is going on when this occurs?
In intimate relationships we seek closeness. Feeling close to our mate gives us feelings of love, security, joy and contentment – life is good! No one ever decides to live with a loser… in the beginning anyway. With the busyness of life it becomes more difficult to maintain the emotional intensity of courtship forever, so it’s normal for couples, at times, to not feel close. This is when the problem arises because the sexes go about restoring closeness in different ways: Women tend to verbalise their concerns more and men tend to want to fix things up – that is physical things, not the relationship. They hope the problem will go away and their partner will get happy again.
But women don’t ignore it! When they sense distance they need to talk about it, because to them, talking about it will restore closeness. We use an attachment frame to help couples express their real feelings while maintaining their sense of closeness.
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