Samantha De Bono Counselling Bromley

Bromley & Harley Street

tel: 07588 931 401

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Why are Relationships so Hard?

by Samantha De Bono

Because each person comes to the relationship with their own ideas of what a relationship should be.  For example, Alex and Taylor are in a relationship, Alex comes to the relationship from parents who were always openly affectionate with each other, so “open affection” is something Alex would expect in his/her relationship. Taylor’s parents kept outward demonstrations of affection to a minimum, which means that Taylor’s default position is likely to reflect what he/she observed and learned growing up.  So which is right and which is wrong?  Neither is right or wrong, they’re just different.

This is a tiny example of how we believe our way is the right way and our partner’s way is wrong.  If you are a client of mine, you will have heard me say this so often… “If I HAVE to be right, I HAVE to make you wrong”.  To take such a rigid stand, will undoubtedly cause a downward spiral in any relationship, because we aren’t accepting difference, we are trying to get our partner to give up their idea in favour of ours.

Accepting difference is the fastest way to a better relationship.  That’s obviously not to say that John hits Jane and Jane has to accept that John’s way is just different and therefore acceptable on some level.  Abuse in any form is not acceptable. But in the day to day running of our relationships, conflict arises, it’s normal, but it doesn’t necessarily have to turn into a battle that impedes both parties needs being met.

In my role as a couples counsellor I often get asked “Is it normal to have to work so hard at our relationship?” my answer is always “yes, it’s normal because you are genetically, physiologically, psychologically and historically different”.  It is highly unlikely you’re always going to see things through each others eyes, because you are not only two entirely different people, but because men and women are wired differently, we find it exceptionally difficult to “get” each other all the time. BUT THAT’S OKAY! Honestly, trust me on this one, the sooner a couple recognise that a relationship is far more enjoyable when they are with someone who enriches their life and doesn’t simply reflect it, the sooner they can get down to enjoying each other.

Sometimes it can be difficult to move past stale patterns of behaviour in a relationship.  Often a couple have become stuck in the way they battle things out and new ways of behaving seem impossible.  In such cases, couples counselling can be very helpful to facilitate change from old ways of doing things to new productive patterns of relationship behaviour.