Relationship turmoil is part of life. It is very common to complain and criticise our partners or fly into defence tactics when we feel wrong or attacked. However, the important factor in maintaining a healthy relationship is that the positive experiences have to outweigh the negative ones. If you occasionally get frustrated and stressed and fly off the handle, that’s ok as long as you are being predominantly kind and loving within your relationship.
Psychologist and researcher, John Gottman, studied thousands of couples to determine what makes a marriage a success or failure. He concluded that the balance between positive and negative emotional interactions are the key to predicting relationships success. Happily married coupled reports a ratio of about five positives to one negative interaction.
As part of an unhealthy relationship dynamic, sex can often be used as a bargaining chip or form of control in the relationship. When one person is angry or wounded, they may withdraw from sex in an effort to protect their vulnerability. This is a normal process but some couples may fall into sexual ruts and need support to break the cycle. A sex therapist can provide individuals and couples the therapeutic support necessary to break unhealthy relationship patterns and bring intimacy and trust back into their relationship.
Even if your relationship is beyond repair, a therapist can help you to separate well. It is important attend to the ending as you would the beginning of a relationship. Often we perceive the ending of a relationships as some sort of personal failing, however, sometimes moving on is the best thing we can do. It takes courage and strength to successfully end a relationship and to start over. Successful endings are when we can reflect on our relationship and feel gratitude for the experiences we received. Learning from past relationships only leads to better relationships in the future.