For some couples, it’s too much and they abandon ship before ever reaching shore.For others, it can be a time to take stock and talk to each other to negotiate where things go next.Couples counselling can help you understand your differences and your similarities – so, for example, you can feel more sympathetic when your partner needs more alone time and you need more together time.
Or you may worry that your partner doesn’t love you enough and you start to become clingy.
It’s often the need for intimacy (together time) versus the need for autonomy (alone time) where the power struggle in a relationship can start.
In other words, it may be about putting your own needs to one side in order to understand what the other person wants from the relationship.
It may involve acknowledging that you are both different, and find ways to manage the inevitable conflicts that will arise.
But you may not be aware of those patterns just yet.
Not while you’re busy looking adoringly into each other’s eyes.
It’s about working as a team, agreeing what works for both of you, rather than taking up rival corners in the ring and scoring points off each other.
Couples counselling, crucially, can help you with communication issues.
You’ll want to spend all your time with your new partner, forging ever-closer physical and emotional bonds, ignoring any faults, and generally feeling flushed with love.
You’ll begin to say ‘we’ instead of ‘I’, as you begin to hope and feel the other person meets all your needs. The attachment patterns you formed as a child (generally, a need for closeness/intimacy, or a need for separation/autonomy) may play out in this new romantic relationship.
Learning tips and techniques to communicate with each other warmly and effectively –rather than escalating into argument – can go a long way to building stronger foundations for your future together.