Things Change When a Couple says, ‘I do’
Recently in a conversation with a two of my colleagues, they both shared with me their idea that as soon as a couple says, “I do” the relationship changes. Even before they turn and exit down the aisle! I suggested that what is transformed is the frame of the relationship which has changed to “permanency”.
They may expand their lives with children, change jobs several times, move every few years, change friends, and even change ideas and habits. Change seems to go with the reality of being alive. In the midst of their many evolutions, the couple has vowed to have a permanent and primary relationship for the rest of their lives.
Permanency has many ramifications for their entire future. It certainly can bring a great deal of joy, a sense of security, satisfaction, wonder, fascination and commitment. It can be truly an incredible and a very treasured experience. They have pledged to be there for one another facing life with all of its contingencies.
This commitment was and is an ongoing process. They discover how to work in close partnership. They struggle to deal one another’s differences, behaviors. and outside influences. How can couples keep this attachment process going? What resources do they have? What keeps them together in good times as well as in difficult situations? How can couples overcome hurtful and troubling experiences? How can they remain hopeful? Can their relationship be redeemed? The strengths a couple once had can often become hidden underneath the obstacles, the dark times, and the struggles of human life.
Couples counseling can help. It can benefit a couple in several ways. They can find the therapy room to be a safe space where they can voice
their concerns, their hurts, their anger, and their difficulties. They can also get in touch with their own deep voice of wisdom and discover the resiliency in self and the other. This resiliency is fed by the compassion that can emerge for each other. This experience can ratify their care for one another and enable them to move forward. They can express their appreciation for one another. They can deepen their bond and continue to evoke from one another the resources that sustain and make the relationship worthwhile.
As the therapist, I am the mediator, advocating for the relationship, endeavoring to create a path for the bond to expand and grow. I am working for new realities to emerge, so both can seek to bring forth the goodness in one another. The counseling process offers the possibility that their energy can be revitalized. A couple can increase their marital IRA —and their commitment can be shaped in such a way that permanency flows with increased benefits.