A patient the other day commented on how exhausted she was following the previous session. We had worked on important, intimate issues for both of them, and it was hard work. They also had a good week, getting along well. Both of these reports indicate that they are making progress. And then we dug into the hard work that came up in that session.
Confusion. Hurt. Silence. Missed opportunity. It is one of the ironies of modern life that many couples today are living together as complete strangers. Or worse, in great unhappiness. The data on divorce lead us to conclude that intimate relationships have been failing apart for the last 20 years or so. The truth is that couples have never learned reliably how to sustain pleasure in intimate relationships. The difference is it never mattered so much before.
There are all kinds of couples. There are couples that are distant from one another and don’t really want to develop closeness, and that works for some couples. Couples where one wants closeness in the relationship significantly more than the other, and if they work that through, they can be fine. But if they don’t make that work, they may need couples counseling in Omaha. The majority of couples that come to couples therapy in Omaha, Nebraska want to make their relationship work and both are invested in doing so. They just don’t know how to go from where they are stuck into a better and (almost always) closer relationship.
They have to learn how to relate better to one another:
That is, they have to do those things if they want to get closer. And most couples begin to do so immediately in the first session. Then they begin to practice some of what they learn about what they themselves have been doing that is causing problems, and they begin to change, and they see their partner changing, changing is happening, and that works well.
Often there are a few setbacks, which often entail falling back into old patterns, so we have to dig more deeply into what is behind or underneath the sliding back. As the partners each begin to change and work the relationship better, they both feel better. We often have to dig into some old news that one or both need to get out for an airing, and sometimes there is some forgiveness work to be done.
When both work on getting closer, communicating better, their intimacy, they grow. Why not try for your self and your relationship?
Dr. Robert G. Kraft is a career psychologist in Omaha, NE. He earned his doctorate, as well as his bachelors and masters before that, from the University of Nebraska at Lincoln. Has practiced in Nebraska ever since.
As well as maintaining his practice, Dr. Kraft is an Associate Clinical Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the Creighton University School of Medicine, where he teaches residents about psychotherapy.