They maybe afraid that the relationship will never change but may not even know what they are afraid of There is so much chaos that there is usually despair and depression. Both may decide to stay with it but can't function. Over the years of working with couples, I have developed an effective way to help them arrive at a relationship they can both be happy with. I find that what couples need is part education in a set of skills and part exploration of experience that aims to resolve the difficulties couples trip over in their private lives.Experience has demonstrated to me that the causes of behavior and human experience a complex and include elements that are biological, psychological, social, contextual, and even spiritual.When I brought the boys together with their families, through processes I had not learned about in graduate school, it transformed the therapy. For the adolescent boys, their problems were typically rooted in the often-troubled relationships between their parents.They lacked the nurturing environment they needed for healthy growth.But we wind up confusing the two and end up feeling betrayed or used when, as often happens, we fail to satisfy our need for closeness in sex.Shifts in our general views about what makes life worth living have also contributed to a new demand for intimacy. And they want it most in their intimate relationships.Unlike in more "primitive" cultures, most Americans no longer live as part of a large family or community where we develop a sense of comfort and safety, a network of people to confide in, to feel at home with.This, I have come to believe, is what has drawn many people into cults--the need to feel part of a bonded community, There is a sense of being at home emotionally as well as physically.
Over the disappointment, the partners erect defenses against each other. They can't talk without blaming, so they stop listening.Yet the quality of our closest relationships is often what gives life its primary meaning.Intimacy, I have come to believe, is not just a psychological fad, a rallying cry of contemporary couples. Shortly after I began my career as a family therapist I was working in a residential treatment center where troubled teenage boys were sent by the courts.For many generations the answer lay in a productive life of work and service in which the reward of happiness would be ours, in Heaven. Here, it's clear, we are unlikely to find it easily.Couples today are struggling with something new--to build relationships based on genuine feelings of equality.