Do You Want a Fairytale Relationship?
As a marriage and family therapist, many of my clients ask me what's the secret of having a healthy relationship. My initial answer is always that relationships are much more complex than we are taught to believe. We are in a culture that believes and values fairy tales as role models of what relationships should be. In most fairy tales, the usual struggle that is presented is that as long as the two protagonists get rid of the antagonists, they will live "happily ever after." The witch, the evil step-mother, a spell, are in the way of being able to love one another. In a snapshot, the protagonists have to fight together for their love.
One of the main flaws of the fairy tale concept is that it presents over and over only one perspective of how a couple gets the drive to work towards being closer to each other: Fighting enemies or external problems. Another concept that is entrenched in our culture is the idea of "happily ever after." The idea that once the external force that is impeding the couple to be together, nothing can break the bond that they have fought so hard for.
Many couples make great teams at fighting external forces. These are couples that can work well together in their business. It can also present in not so fortunate situations such as battling a disease, resolving financial issues, or protecting the relationship from "enemies." What I have seen as a therapist, on many occasions, is that when the external force is not a problem anymore, many of these couples begin to experience communication issues, engage in excessive fighting, and even end their relationship.
WHY IS THIS?
Well, just like in fairy tales, these are couples that have learned to nurture their relationship through the drive generated by resolving external issues. When the external issue is resolved, there is no drive left to be together. Fairy tales do not present how couples can turn to each other and generate the drive to nurture their relationship from within. That sounds more like a drama movie, right?
From fairy tales, we can learn that couples need the drive to maintain closeness and happiness. A successful relationship is one that not only teams up to solve external problems, but also works together at maintaining and, when needed, re-igniting passion and intimacy. So how do couples face an "internal" problem with the same drive as if the problem was caused by someone else? The secret is to always remember that your partner is trying to do the best she or he can. Why? This eliminates the blame and criticism from conversations, and as a result, generating the space to find solutions together.
To The Success of Your Relationship!
Your Therapy Friend,
Sofia Robirosa is the owner of Infinite Therapeutic Services and is a Relationships & Parenting Expert. She offers individual, couples, and family counseling to individuals seeking to enhance their relationships. Her private practice is located in Plantation, FL. She attended Nova Southeastern University for both her Bachelor and Master Degrees in Marriage and Family Therapy and in Business Administration. She is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, and a Leader in Active Parenting for children and teens, an evidenced based program. She is also a Certified Addictions Professional (CAP). She is a passionately committed therapist, who thoroughly takes pride and joy from her job. She enjoys working with a culturally diverse population and is bilingual in Spanish and English. She is a member of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy and an active volunteer of the Broward Association for Marriage and Family Therapy. She loves her family, which consists of her husband, daughter, and two dogs. Some of her interests outside of work include spending time outdoors, traveling, and dining. Read more about her at: www.infinitetherapeuticservices.com and follow her on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/infinitetherapy/