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  • Writer's pictureJennifer Williams

Couples Therapy: Breaking Negative Interaction Patterns

Updated: Oct 27, 2023

Now, if you're in a relationship, you've probably experienced these negative interaction patterns at some point. It's like that age-old dance where you accidentally step on each other's toes, both literally and metaphorically

So, what are these negative interaction patterns? Well, they're the uncomfortable and anxiety provoking parts of a relationship that get you stuck. They pop up repeatedly and, frankly, cause a lot of harm. These patterns are the things that make you wonder, "How did we get here, and why does this keep happening?"

Getting un-stuck

1. The Blame Game Picture this – one of you spills a glass of milk, and suddenly, it's a full-blown argument about whose fault it is, along with the messy kitchen, then turns into fighting about work schedules, which fuels the arguing and blaming to continue.

2. The Silent Treatment Showdown: When you're upset, you both enter a silence contest. Who can go longer without speaking? Spoiler alert: Nobody wins, and it's a surefire way to create distance when what you both want is connection.

3. The Door Slam Spectacle: Here, one of you storms out dramatically, usually punctuated by a door slam that registers on the Richter scale. It's your own way to make sure your partner knows how mad you really are.

4. The Nag-a-thon: You're both convinced that relentless nagging is the key to solving problems. Unfortunately, it's more like a broken record stuck on a never-ending loop, and nobody's dancing to that tune.

Now, let's bring in the emotionally focused couples therapy superhero! They're like the scriptwriter who's here to rewrite the story and inject some much-needed character development.

In therapy, we're all about breaking these negative patterns and introducing healthier, more heartwarming interactions. It's like rebooting your relationship sitcom with a fresh, uplifting plot twist.

1. Understanding the Underlying Emotions: Therapy helps you dig beneath the surface to discover the real emotions behind those stressful interactions. It's like revealing the character's motivations in a TV show, making you understand why they act the way they do.

2. Changing the Script: Together with your therapist, you'll rewrite the script. Instead of the blame game, you'll start saying, "Hey, I feel hurt when this happens." The door slam? It'll be replaced with a heartfelt conversation about your feelings.

3. Bring Out the Laugh Track: As you work through your issues, you'll find that laughter starts to make a comeback. Instead of an awkward silence, you might just have a giggle about the absurdity of your past arguments.

4. Growing Together: In the end, therapy isn't just about fixing problems – it's about growing as a couple. It's like your characters evolving throughout the series, becoming more relatable and endearing with each episode.

So, here's the takeaway: Emotionally focused couples therapy is like a makeover for your relationship. It's about ditching those stale plotlines and negative patterns and creating a storyline that's heartwarming, relatable, and, most importantly, sustainable.

Remember, your relationship doesn't have to be a never-ending episode of "The Misadventures of Love." With therapy, you can rewrite the script, introduce new plot twists, and turn your relationship into a heartwarming rom-com that'll have everyone rooting for you.

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