Why do so many couples have conflicts over the holidays?

When we start a relationship, we tend to feel completely connected to our partner. We may still be surprised by his thoughts or attitudes, but the general feeling is that of a permanent and solid connection.

From there it is very easy to face the holidays. Spending all our time together, without interrupting our daily obligations, is in perfect harmony with our desires.

Holidays: a challenge for the well-being of the couple

However, when a couple is in crisis, vacations are not always those expected days.. It gives the feeling that when we are together and with fewer obligations, this feeling of disconnection becomes more powerful, more difficult to ignore.

On a daily basis, we can attribute our lack of connection to a thousand factors: that we don’t have time, that work absorbs us a lot, that the children need a lot of attention, the gym, Sunday meals with the family. , shopping, cleaning, we have a thousand and one commitments, …

It is true that generally these or similar factors are ubiquitous in couples and undermine their ability to pay attention on a daily basis, but what is not so true is that they are what separates them.

Manage time together

They usually make us start to feel disconnected from each other, but if we pull them apart, that feeling of disconnection doesn’t go away. Therefore, when they are on vacation, they are not present, but the feeling with the couple remains the same, all the alarms go off.

When we leave for a romantic weekend and it still doesn’t seem like we can feel close, we worry, we thought that maybe our relationship will never be the same again. We have found that we have settled into that distance between us in which we feel safer, but not more comfortable, and that although the patterns disappear, the distance remains.

Usually there is a desire for things to be the same again, And that doesn’t mean erasing our obligations or our “children” from the equation, but if we can feel as a couple again as before they arrived, and if not daily, at least if this weekend. exactly what he talked about before.

There are a lot of couples who after making this attempt and seeing that it doesn’t work, or even after they’ve stopped trying and started spending the summer only with the extended family so they don’t have to face this reality. disconnection, go to therapy., With the hope that maybe, with some help, things can be a little less bad … because few dream to imagine that they can be as good or even better than at the beginning.

And you can, not always, I won’t lie to you, but in many cases you can.

How can couples therapy help us?

the Emotion-Centered Therapy (TFE) is a model of therapy that allows us to explore the reasons for this feeling of disconnection.

It is not a therapy in which we are going to discuss how we discuss our conflict issues. I honestly understand that the couples who come to my consultation are generally people who are fully capable of having more or less satisfactory exchanges of opinions in almost all their relationships (family, work, friends, …) and who have the feeling that they “get bogged down” in their discussions as a couple. Indeed, they have nothing to do with their skills in formulating and receiving criticism, or with their good or bad decision-making techniques, … but it gives the feeling that in the discussions of the couple come into play emotions that catch them and that made them react in a very determined way.

The feeling of disconnection does not arise just because we have different opinions than our partner, or even because those opinions lead us to a more or less heated discussion, but it does appear when we feel that this discussion is endangering. our link with our partner. which touches on fundamental questions: how I perceive myself; how the other sees me; as I see in the relationship …

It’s when they feel our bond on a tightrope, when the discussion becomes especially painful, because the two, each in their own way, do their best to keep the bond from breaking, and they usually do it in different ways. and almost on the contrary, by increasing the insecurity of the other, and consequently his own.

How can we help couples not to feel insecure?

According to Dr. Sue Johnson, creator of the Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy Model, there are only three essential factors that make us feel that our relationship as a couple is secure. We need to know if our partner will be available, receptive and emotionally involved with us.

  • availability: Are you here for me? Can I call you? Will you be there?

  • receptivity: Are you interested? You want me Am I important to you? Can I trust you to answer me when I need you?

  • participation: Are you determined to get emotionally involved and will you pay attention to me?

The TFE model gives therapists trained in the technique a clear map of the way forward to achieve that sense of disconnection, in which it is difficult to talk about a topic or even go on vacation together. secure link in which all of these questions are answered with a YES, and we can feel like we are on “vacation” in our everyday life.

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