Problems with your partner? The culprit is the negative cycle

In our daily life, when we have problems with our partner and we feel that he does not understand us, the rest of our life is affected. In fact, what happens is that when we are not well with our partner, everything “weighs more”: life weighs more, problems weigh more, even joys are not savored as much…

And in the face of this heavy situation, when we feel that the person we love the most does not understand us, we feel countless emotions.

    The Negative Cycle in Relationships

    In the face of these emotions, we must all protect ourselves. Some act by withdrawing, as if they “don’t care” (called “avoidance” in Emotion-Focused Therapy – EFT). Others show with intensity how much it touches them, wanting to find understanding at this precise moment (the so-called “pursuers” in TFE). Both forms are a demonstration that it is important.

    This is where the negative cycle is born, a repetitive pattern of relationship in the couple that is activated in different situations of daily life, because everyone wants to be seen, wants to be accepted, wants to feel the most important for the other and wants to be enough” for the other person.

    Emotion-Focused Therapy (EFT) is based on the premise that a strong relationship is based on feeling that your partner is emotionally available, it gives you the security to be who you areshow your feelings and feel like you have someone to turn to when you need them.

    In this model of therapy, the “negative cycle” refers to the inevitable interconnection between, on the one hand, who I am, what I need and the way I act with my partner to let him know and , on the other hand, the way in which the one my partner understands and responds to who he is and what he needs too.

    What I think, feel and do in response to what I see in my fellow traveler can be understood by him/her in a different way because he/she too thinks, feels and does at from your own need. Each person has a particular way of understanding the world and relationships.

      The source of many discussions

      The “negative cycle” is the trap all couples fall into; this way of relating to the person we most desire is repeated over and over again, especially in times of conflict. It is a set of behaviors, personal interpretations and internal emotions that arise in each member of the couple when a difference occurs: the behavior of one arouses emotions in the other, these emotions as well as the interpretation made of it. they activate ways of acting and responding which, in turn, also arouse emotions, behaviors and interpretations in the former. All express the deep need to feel accepted, valued, loved.

      For this reason, they are repeated again and again in the daily life of a relationship and if they do not feel heard and understood, they are responsible for the distance in the couple.

      This negative cycle explains and gives meaning to discussions and silences. We argue because we care. We keep quiet and withdraw because we care… Both positions show what the other means to us.

        Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy Work for Couples

        One of the goals of emotion-focused couples therapy is accompany the two members of the couple in the discovery of the negative cycle and the part that corresponds to each one: their behavior has an impact on the other and vice versa.

        From my experience – as someone in a stable emotional relationship and as a psychotherapist with over two decades of therapeutic work – observing my own way of acting, how it affects my partner and being aware of my personal interpretation of the actions of ‘my life partner’ becomes easier – and more valuable to me – when I don’t feel judged, when I feel that my emotions, intentions and needs are understood.

        This is precisely what emotion-focused therapy for couples does: promotes, in each member of the couple, the acceptance of both their own needs and their emotional desires. Only after this individual acceptance can one also embrace the other person. TFE focuses on strengthening the emotional connection with the partner so that each’s pain and personal struggle has a “safe haven” to rest, a place to go out to explore, and a place you know you can come back to. Because everyone has the right to be who they are. To feel accepted, valued, loved, as he is.

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