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Marriage therapy may turn out to be the only salvation for the relationship when the partners are unable to cope with conflicts and disputes, and regrets, grievances and hidden resentments deepen the crisis, leading to separation. When does marriage therapy still make sense and how is it different from mediation?

Whenmarriage therapyis able to save, rebuild the relationship of two people who were loving until recently? At the beginning of a relationship, when we look at each other through rose-colored glasses thanks to mutual fascination, we generally have no problem building relationships. Infatuated to the ears, we consider a loved one special. She is the most beautiful and the best in every way. Even its flaws seem charming to us. We constantly discover similarities, we want the same. With time, the blindness wears off and we slowly begin to notice that there is much more between us than we thought. There are some misunderstandings about this.

Marriage therapy teaches you to accept and listen to the other person

Crises in a couple's life can occur for various reasons, such as: pursuit of a career and the related lack of time, willingness to force one's values ​​and expectations towards a partner and relationship, problems related to raising children. But most often these are difficulties in communication. People cannot talk to each other and listen to each other. They are unable to clearly define their needs and role in the relationship or accept that each of us is different. Instead of allowing ourselves to pursue our own goals and develop, within reason, of course, we try to change our partner by force and adjust them to each other. We lose respect for the needs and habits of the other person. Most often, couples miss the moment when their relationships start to deteriorate. The crisis evokes strong emotions - anger, sadness, a sense of unfulfillment, rejection.

The spouses, instead of deepening and consolidating their relationship, begin to drift apart or fight each other. Often, a well-conducted conversation turns out that they really have a lot in common, but they cannot express it clearly.

When to go to marriage therapy?

When after a few independent attempts it is not possible to resolve a crisis, it is worth resorting to therapy. Meetings with a specialist will improve mutual communication, help to better understand each other, explain the behavior, reactions, emotions, find compromises thatare the basis of a lasting relationship.

Until recently, women initiated visits to a psychologist more often. Today, half of the couples come to therapy at the initiative of men who, according to specialists, are increasingly involved in repairing the relationship. Marriage therapy is designed to prevent a couple from divorcing. Whether it will succeed is difficult to say at the first meeting. It's hard to save a relationship when one person wants therapy and the other doesn't. But it's always worth a try, even if it's just a one-time visit, so you don't regret not having done everything.

When both spouses want to fix mistakes, they usually work. If one side says they don't want a divorce and the other is wondering, the matter is more difficult. But sometimes couples who at the beginning wanted to break up decide to have a child after two years of coming to therapy. Rebuilding relationships can take a long time. People come to therapy for a year before they learn to talk to each other.

Therapy for couples or individual?

After the initial conversation, the therapist recommends therapy for couples, if the problem concerns two people, for example because communication is disturbed, or - when, for example, he finds problems with one of the people he has learned from the family home: disturbed relationships or domestic violence - he directs them to individual therapy. During the consultation interview, the psychologist selects therapeutic methods so that they are not mutually exclusive. The point is not to destroy the concept of aid. Individual therapy reaches deep emotional layers, while couples therapy can only be based on a conversation. Sometimes cognitive behavioral therapy is used when working with couples. The partner has difficulty showing affection, and the partner expects to be touched. So he begins to cuddle with his partner, even though it is not important to him. After some time, however, it may turn out that she will begin to appreciate physical closeness.

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Mediation is not therapy

People often confuse these terms because it is easier for them to say "we are going to mediation" than "we are going to therapy". The task of the therapy is to save the relationship, mediation consists in reaching an agreement on specific matters, e.g. regarding divorce (with adjudication of guilt or by agreement of the parties, division of property, alimony, childcare) without the participation of the court. The mediator does not have to be a therapist, he does not help to solve an emotional problem, he does not heal, but facilitates communication between partners on contentious issues. Anyone who has completed the appropriate course can be a mediator. If it is a psychologist, he can additionally launch some tools that will help in mediation.

We go to mediation when we want to get a divorce, not when we try to save the relationship.With a third party, it is easier to control yourself and then it is easier to compromise. When partners start accusing each other, the mediator brings them back to the topic they came with. When choosing solutions, he always takes into account the best interests of children.

The most common reasons for crisis in marriages

When things go wrong, we usually blame our partner. We see his flaws, we know what he should change, but we are not humble, we do not see our own problems. It's easier to blame someone than to admit that maybe we are the ones who make the mistakes. It is never the case that a crisis is caused by just one person and the other is blameless.

Therefore, as long as we do not notice our contribution to the destruction of marriage, it will not be possible to fix it. Sometimes relationships fall apart when one side needs overprotection that they don't get, or when they're hanging over the other side. If you are giving too much, it's also not good. The partner cannot reciprocate, so he starts to move away.

If betrayal is the cause of the crisis, you need to understand why it happened. What did the partner have to look for outside of marriage? In the process of therapy, betrayal is viewed as a symptom of what has happened in the relationship. It is difficult for the betrayed person that he or she has a part in it. You have to have a lot of humility, but if you understand it then it is easier to forgive.

For people who live in a triangle, the therapist helps to answer the question of whether they want to be trapped in it, which relationship is more important to them. You can forgive a betrayal, you can learn from each stumble, depending on how you perceive it. You have to remember that people who cheat also have a mental burden associated with it and it is not so easy for them.

Marriage therapy teaches communication

At the root of most crises is impaired communication. We do not listen, we impose our arguments, but we are also not assertive, we cannot fight for ours, but we hide our regrets inside, and sooner or later they lead to the destruction of the relationship.

We often transfer the way of communicating at home to our family. If the mother was overbearing, we follow this pattern. When communication improves, usually some other problems resolve themselves. Sometimes the therapist gives homework: something needs to be thought over, described. For example, how do we understand marriage, what are our needs. It turns out then that for one person the sense of security is a high bill, for another - home, warmth, peace.

Everyone looks at a relationship by definition. In order to maintain good relations, you need to learn to speak openly about your needs and priorities, which is important to everyone, to which he does not pay attention. Sometimesthe couple speak about the same but different language, other times they talk about completely different things, convinced that they mean the same thing. You need to explain all this.

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