Are you ready to stop fighting?
Do you long for the days when you and your partner were happy?
Do you remember how much fun you used to have?
Do you recall laughing together often?
What happened to those days? Where did they go?
Why are we fighting all the time? How did we get here?
How did we go from so much joy to so much pain and frustration?
Do you long for the day when you can just stop fighting?
The Honeymoon is Over.
Whether you’ve been together for a year or two or more, whether you’re in a relationship or married, and you can relate to one or more of the above questions, you have most likely moved from the honeymoon stage of your union into what we call the power struggle. This is very common and is a natural component of the lifecycle of a relationship.
Our relationships with our significant others are unique in their ability to bring up in us every unresolved issue we have ever had with our parents and other authority figures from our growing up years. Most of us had parents who loved us and did the best they could with what they knew. And at the same time, most parents were/are imperfect, and in one way or another probably did not model for us how to be in a healthy, loving relationship. So our own romantic relationships become the arena where we can see what we missed growing up, as we attempt to get from our partners the very things our parents could not provide.
It Doesn’t Work That Way.
Unfortunately, our partners are not equipped to provide us with what our parents couldn’t, and it is not their responsibility to do so.
When we fall in love with someone, in addition to all of the obvious good stuff that we like, there is an unconscious attraction to something in them that leads us to believe that we can work out with them that which we could not work out at home. Consciously, we think we’re falling in love to be in bliss and live happily ever after, and we often don’t realize that there is much more at stake.
The deeper purpose of romantic union is to help support each other in healing our childhood wounds, and in growing into the most authentic version of ourselves. The honeymoon stage of the relationship fools us into believing that life is always supposed to be fun and joy-filled. That is not realistic. The power struggle, while it can be very challenging and unpleasant, is a wake-up call, letting us know that new opportunities have arrived.
We Have a Choice to Make.
Many couples fail to recognize the power struggle for the opportunities it provides, and they often go on struggling, break up, or get a divorce. For those couples who are aware, they make a conscious choice to engage in a therapeutic process of self-examination and healing. During that process, they also learn new communication skills that allow them to end the fighting once and for all, and to help restore the love and joy in the relationship, often resulting in a stronger and closer relationship than they have ever known.
Take the First Step…
If you are caught up in a power struggle, tired of fighting all the time, and longing to restore the love and joy in your relationship, I would like to help. Please contact me via phone or email so we can discuss how we might work together to achieve your therapeutic goals as quickly and effectively as possible. You can stop fighting and get back to the reason you came together.
I look forward to hearing from you.
Linda K. Laffey, MFT