The Basics of Relationship Therapy: Knowing What You Feel

Bill, a software firm manager with black hair and bright blue eyes, first came to see me if he was 35 years old. He had been married to Anne, an attractive brunette who was a fulltime mother with their husband, Cody. After living with Anne for five decades, Bill had lost touch with the good feelings he once felt, and that he had been becoming tired of the same old routine in their connection.

For one thing, Anne no longer seemed interested in Bill’s efforts at romance. When he wanted to make love, she always seemed to possess five family jobs that had to be done. While there was a time when each might drop everything to be sexual, those days were gone.

Bill brought home blossoms after work to surprise Anne, but she scolded him saying they couldn’t afford to spend that kind of cash whilst increasing their son. Deep down, Bill felt hurt and angry because he had been trying to do the small things that Anne was able to like. However, like countless guys, he didn’t really understand what he had been feeling other than a general down feeling. When he sensed this discomfort with Anne, he managed it by making impulsive sarcastic comments. Sometimes he would spend hours on the computer, something he knew she disliked, simply to get even with her. Call Dalton Associates today!

Building a Brick Wall

A brick wall was slowly moving up between both of these, and their love was getting buried. Since the wall went up, Bill started to have fantasies about being with other women. He began going to supper with a friendly feminine co-worker who left Bill feel like he was appealing, important and appreciated.

Bill covertly started searching for an apartment, believing he may need a separation. He was tired of the chronic fighting with his spouse, but each time he looked in an apartment, he couldn’t help but wonder whether this was what he really desired. Just considering departing Cody made his heart race as he remembered too well his own upbringing in a broken home. Bill did not want Cody to develop a dad he just watched weekends. He wanted to give him the stability his dad never gave him, but Bill didn’t wish to sacrifice his own happiness.

When Bill felt lonely he ate more junk food, or he would binge drink (drinking alcohol with the primary intention of getting drunk ). He had been spending more money on food while he had been cutting back his workouts in the fitness center. After Cody was put to bed, Bill would go out drinking with his friends or stay up late surfing the web. As his marriage was going down the tubes, chatting with girls on online dating sites was his favorite pastime. This, at least, attracted a bit of excitement in his life. Call a Vaughan therapist now.

The media does a superior job of promoting instant gratification, and this was an issue for both Anne and Bill since it’s for a substantial percentage of couples. Delayed gratification involves having the ability to include and handle your own emotions while listening to a partner, and many do not wish to tolerate this discomfort. Most people prefer instant satisfaction over delayed gratification, and it causes too many marriages to wind up in divorce. Many of these unions could become exceptional if people could learn how to obey their partners, ask good questions, keep their feelings on hold and delay gratification. During difficult discussions with Anne, Bill was impatient and found himself moving around in circles so that he distracted himself with alcohol, junk food and web surfing rather than carrying on the challenge of creating a strong union.

The truth is, far too many unions and partnerships fall apart because of people:

1. Do not understand what they are feeling,

2. Distract themselves if they are feeling uncomfortable, rather than becoming closer to their true feelings, Get exceptionally defensive and responsive during conflicts, and Stop expressing themselves to their spouses.

The result over time is the construction of resentment, and love gets buried. As you get to know Bill, you are going to learn how he had issues with all four. Bill’s most serious problem was self-medicating his pain with alcohol, which was putting him and other people in danger. Periodically, Bill thought about seeing a connection therapist, however, he kept postponing it.

Getting Some Help

Bill chose to see me shortly after a police officer stopped him for driving under the influence. He knew he had been going in the wrong direction and did not want to jeopardize his job. Bill was honest about what was happening in his union and had the emotional health to see that he was partially responsible for his relationship issues.

He admitted to having a negative facet, which came out in his humorous comments toward Anne and his desire to get back at her. He confessed to intentionally leaving open the dating website window hopes that Anne would get jealous. The notion of telling her that he felt hurt and wanted to have was something that never crossed his mind. It never crossed his mind because he was only dimly conscious of these feelings, and slowly, brick by brick, and he pushed away from the person he actually loved.

Bill slowly opened up about getting some awareness of a deep depression that he traced back to growing up with an alcoholic father. As a young boy, Bill remembered feeling fearful and hiding under his bed when his dad was drunk and crying. In many ways, Bill felt he had lost his father to the jar when Bill was just a preschooler. Without healthy support from his parents, Bill never heard about core feelings like grief, anger, anxiety, frustration, enthusiasm and love/joy.

He also never learned to differentiate, and it is a development process which involves learning skills and elegant subsets of skills while growing up. Since Bill never learned to identify his heart feelings, it had been hard to express everything he desired. This stifled the favorable feedback from other people that could eventually help Bill discover his true identity. The only way Bill would acquire essential nurturing and admiration was to appeal to his parents’ wants, and consequently he learned to put his feelings aside and hold back. As time passes, this holding back drained a great deal of energy he might have used for valuable learning.

Bill started to struggle with anxiety when he was around 12 years old – he tossed and turned at night and at times simply couldn’t fall asleep. Sometimes he felt like he wanted to run away. He also felt boredom and a moderate sense of depression that slowly improved through his adolescent years. Through those years, he cried for his father to be there and encourage him, but instead, he felt lonely and needy. This could have been a perfect time for Bill to do some relationship function.