I think of relationships as ‘Kintsugi’ relationships. It's the name given to the Japanese art of repairing precious objects with gold, making the ‘repair’ part of their beauty the story rather than throwing them out or covering them up.
Relationships can be hard.
We don’t always get them right.
Healthy, long-lasting personal and romantic relationships take work.
They require mutual respect, open communication, intimacy and trust to thrive. If any of these ingredients are missing, things can fall apart. About 60 per cent of adults in Australia are married or in a partnership. The average length lasts just over 12 years.
While one-in-three marriages end in divorce, the rates are, encouragingly, lower than two decades ago. However, current research shows modern mounting stress has led to more couples separating.
It’s unrealistic to expect that all our needs will be fulfilled by one person, forever.
The very notion of 'the one' is flawed. This common belief is typically addressed early on in couple’s therapy, where couples explore how they could individually fulfill their own intimate psychological, emotional, and spiritual needs. This all too common ‘belief’ tends to be addressed very early on in the couple’s therapy where couples are asked to explore how individually they could fulfil their own intimate psychological, emotional and spiritual needs. Later on, other areas might include working through how; no connection is perfect, married life is messy, couples can be complex, relationships are uncertain and sometimes completely irrational.
For many, it’s about coming to the realisation that having a sense of self-awareness, a willingness to own our mistakes and taking personal responsibility are the prerequisites for getting back on track. Ultimately, couple’s therapy draws out where we might be putting up walls in an attempt to keep ourselves safe, and sometimes to avoid intimacy.
We all have a different version of what a “good” relationship is, and how we want ‘things’ to be. But more than anything, what we all want is to be understood and accepted for who we are. We want our partners to “get” us, right into the core. Sometimes this can be hard to unpack together without couple’s therapy.
In any relationship, especially an intimate one, it’s healthy to discuss the basics before starting therapy. Are you both clear in communicating your emotions and sticking to your boundaries? Do you know each other’s love languages? Do you ever compromise on your values? Are you both willing to weather the storm together as a team?
If you’re both sailing through rough waters currently, having couple’s therapy could help you both navigate the bumpy ride. The journey and the challenge tend to be worthwhile.