By the time many couples show up to couples therapy, their relationship mirrors more of a cohabiting partnership, rather than a passionate marriage.
Most of the partners in these relationships don’t hate each other, but they’re bored, they’ve lost interest and their relationship looks a little too much like brothers and sisters.
Although these couples are married, and they’ve entered the “friend zone” and their “friendliness” can be the poison pill in their relationship.
The 21st century seems to be a confusing time for many men. Many men are lost as to what their roles are supposed to be in the world at large and on the home front. Things were simpler in years past when roles and expectations of the husband were more clearly defined. Husbands of the past were generally expected to do three things good enough:
- Make money to support your family.
- Try not to hit your kids too much.
- Don’t get too drunk on the weekends.
HOW DO YOU DEFINE YOUR ROLE AS A SPOUSE?
If I did a survey of married couples and asked them to tell me how they define their role of being a spouse, I’m pretty sure I know what kind of answers I would get.
I know what most people would say because I ask this question to married people every day in my practice.
Recently during a couples therapy session I told the couple I was working with that there’s nothing really wrong with their relationship, and in fact, they were fighting with each other in understandable and predictable ways. I said, “there’s nothing wrong with you guys!” I told them I could see how much each person deeply loves the other as evident by how much pain they frustration they experienced. Understandably, they were dismayed at my assessment and it seems they were expecting me to confirm and validate their own worst fears; that they did not in fact love each other, that they really hated one another and that their relationship was doomed, and that perhaps I was secretly thinking, “Wow – these people are really messed up!” Continue reading
Date-nights are an interesting topic in my practice. There is a lot of relationship advice on the internet suggesting how beneficial date-nights are for your relationship, but my own personal experience and the experiences of the couples I work with in couples therapy suggests that something critical might be missing from the iconic date-night.
Whenever my wife and I are lucky enough to have an evening babysitter, we excitedly think about having a date-night and all the glorious things we can do with our time together, but at times in the past, we have ended our date-night not feeling much better about us, or the connecting quality of our relationship. For many couples, date-nights are lack-luster, emotionally un-gratifying, and can often feel forced. For this reason, I do not prescribe couples to go on date-nights (not yet anyway), until some certain awareness’s are developed regarding the date-night. Continue reading