Welcome to Love Frontier Therapy. We are here to help relationships flourish and people to feel more connected.
Relationships can be super confusing. We have the ‘honeymoon’ stage where your partner can’t do wrong, and then after a while, the issues and misunderstandings can start to pile up. Almost every couple has negative patterns that can start to emerge. Usually they are fueled by reactive emotions that kept us safe growing up. Like getting mad, critical, hopeless, stuck, or withdrawn.
Typical Stressors on Relationships and Families
There’s a lot of stuff in life that adds stress and makes things harder. It’s good to know what those kinds of things are so you know what to look out for.
When you first get engaged, when you are talking about getting engaged. When you are moving in together. Weddings. Kids. Job. All stressors. It’s hard to believe that getting married could make things harder, but it can. I remember when I first got my engagement ring and I woke up in the middle of the night and told my husband ‘my hand feels heavy’, ‘I feel trapped’! You wouldn’t think a ring could do that, but that’s just me I guess.
Lots of couples feel similarly or different but no matter, to know that it’s normal to have stress even around the most beautiful things, is kind of a relief. No, you don’t have to be perfect, no, there’s no formula to being pregnant or getting married. Yes, you might fight on your honeymoon. Relationships are messy but awesome. And the sooner you know that all this is normal, the better. Because then you don’t have to beat yourself up about not being the perfectly happy pregnant person, or a happy fiancee, etc.
You are normal, and messiness and difficult patterns are not a result of something being terribly wrong. It’s easier to ask for help when you know that it’s normal to struggle and that relationships can be hard.
When we add the extra layer of second-guessing ourselves and getting self-critical because we don’t fit the ‘mold’ (whatever that is!), we are even more miserable.
Some fighting in relationships is very normal. It’s how we recover that’s important. No disagreement or fighting at all can be a bigger problem because that’s when stuff is usually being pushed down. There’s only so long we can push down hurt, misunderstanding, and loneliness – better to let off a little bit of steam sometimes.
One goal in helping couples find each-other again and to conquer negative patterns is to help them repair and get to feel safer so that they can repair in the moment, become more resilient, and give each-other second and third chances. That is the excitement, beauty, and growth in a relationship. Because when you get the repair right (because you accept and forgive yourself for getting it wrong the first time), even more closeness and love can blossom. You never get bored – relationships are living breathing beings that can grow and become more intricate and sparkly with time.