“I wanted to make sure I tried everything before we gave up on the relationship.”
Separated couples have an even greater problem than other couples in distress. They have to consider whether they should continue towards full separation, or whether there is a possibility to salvage the relationship, and what are the outcomes in either case. It can often feel too late to rescue a relationship. One partner or both can feel burned out, misunderstood, tired and just plain angry with the other. Whether it is due to unrelenting arguing, emotional disconnection, or a combination of factors, separating can often seem like the easiest option.
However, many couples do come to couples therapy for one last try to repair their relationship. They do so because they remember the spark and excitement they felt, the friendship and love they had wanted, and the hope they had for their future together. They want to see if there is a road back to reconnection.
It will take work but many separated couples do find their way back to a connected relationship with each other and they often report a more real, emotionally connected and overall better relationship the second time around. Some couples do end up coming to the realization that “Yes, you could get a divorce and have other marriages with different people, or you could try to have a different marriage with the same person.” Of course, some couples are not successful in restoring their relationship. Couples therapy can lead to a separation plan that helps these couples separate amicably, deal with co-parenting issues, provide support with the emotional reactions to separating, and even help each partner to do better in future relationships.
Often the difficult issues facing separated couples are ignored or given superficial treatment by inexperienced psychotherapists who are not familiar with the needs of these couples.
At the Center for Psychological and Interpersonal Development, we work with separated couples using Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy (EFT), a highly effective form of couples therapy.
The Negative Cycle
When relationships haven’t been going well, we may feel like our partner hasn’t been there for us when we turned to them for support. Because we may not feel like they really love or accept us at these times, we become disconnected further from them and in turn aren’t available when they need us.
This negative cycle is the reason why couples become so detached from each other and how they end up separating and divorcing. With EFT and a better understanding of the cycle, we can gain clarity about these patterns. We can help unlock the emotional reasons for disconnection and help change them into ways to partners connect more deeply with each other. If the couple decides they want to work on the relationship, these feelings of security and connection can be rebuilt.