Many couples tell me that their sessions with me are the only times in their busy lives that they connect with one another.
But is this enough?
Will one hour, once a week with me, be the glue to keep them connected? Or do they need to find other ways and time to re-connect long term?
I often take them back to the time they met and invite them to think about their first points of connection.
Perhaps they were born in the same country. Perhaps they had ten Facebook friends in common. Perhaps they grew up in the same neighbourhood but never met. Perhaps they worked in the same field. They may have connected over religion, number of siblings, similar family dynamics. In addition, for many people, having been raised in the same era and being able to belt out the same lyrics of a song or remember the same historical highlights, connects them.
People also connect with one with another more easily if they share the same values, a similar sense of humour, interests and ambition.
It’s even been said that we are attracted to and connect best with people who look similar to us.
Yet despite their initial connections, couples often feel a disconnect as the years pass.
Some of the reasons couples tell me that they feel disconnected include:
- Not enough time together. Each may spend long days away from home, focussing on work and then once home, household and parental responsibilities further take them away from one another.
- Conflict. This often revolves around differing parenting styles, spending habits, personal pursuits, extended family and household responsibilities.
- Taking each other for granted. Individuals often feel unappreciated, invisible and unloved by his or her partner.
- Breakdown in communication. Often, both or one does not feel heard, validated or supported by the other.
- Lack of intimacy. Anger, resentment, hurt and feeling too tired often affects the way in which couples connect through intimacy.
So, with all of the above in place, is it any wonder that over time, the points of connection that attracted each to the other, get forgotten about and replaced with a feeling of disconnectedness.
And if a couple goes too long without connecting, touching base and enjoying time together, then the divide and disconnect grows larger and becomes more difficult to repair.