NYC Psychotherapist Blog

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Monday, January 17, 2011

Relationships: Creating an Emotional Safe Haven for Each Other

Creating a safe haven within your relationship is one of the most important aspects of a happy relationship, and it includes:

Being Able to Trust Each Other:
Trust is at the root of any successful relationship. Part of any happy relationship is you and your partner being able to trust, to be compassionate, and emotionally supportive of one another.

Relationships: Creating a Safe Haven For Each Other

Having a safe emotional haven in a relationship means that you can confide in each other about issues that are private and meaningful to you without being afraid that the information will be used against you in an argument or that your partner will disclose it to others.

Putting Your Relationship First:
Putting your relationship first is also essential to creating a safe haven for each other. This doesn't mean that you and your partner don't have relationships with family and friends because loving friends and family are important too.

But there is a recognition that your relationship with your partner comes first. That means that are ordinary circumstances, you are sufficiently independent from your family so that if there is any question of loyalty, your relationship comes first.

Putting Your Relationship First

Please note that I've written "under ordinary circumstances" so that I'm not referring to situations where there is domestic violence where you need to consider your self preservation and the need for support of family and friends.

Many relationships fall apart because one or both partners are still too enmeshed with their parents or other family members. As a result, they're unable to set boundaries with their family and this interferes with the relationship.

The same can be said about friendships. In a healthy relationship, both partners have close friends that are important to them. But these friendships don't interfere with your relationship.

Spending Time Together: Quality and Quantity:
Spending quality time is essential for creating a safe haven in your relationship. You can't have quality time without having a sufficient quantity of time.

Spending Time Together

 If you two of you are shortchanging the relationship because you're too scattered by other responsibilities and this goes on for a while, your relationship will suffer. This can be challenging, especially for a couple where both people have careers or child care responsibilities, but it's important that the two of you be able to negotiate this.

Resolving Conflicts and Letting Go of Resentments:
Having a safe haven in a relationship means that when conflicts arise, you can resolve them as quickly and equitably as possible. Let go of petty arguments and misunderstandings.

Focus on the importance of the relationship rather than "being right" about issues that are inconsequential. When resentments build up in a relationship, trust often goes out the window.

Needless to say, there is no place for revenge in a healthy relationship or acting out sexually with other people.

Resolving Conflicts and Letting Go of Resentments

Many relationships get into trouble because couples forget how to provide a safe haven for each other. Relationships with a long history go through many challenges and it' s easy to forget what's important. Hurt, anger and resentment can cloud your judgment making it hard for you to find your way back to what was once a loving and supportive relationship.

At that point, you and your partner might need the professional help of a marriage or couples counselor to help you get back on track.

Getting Help in Therapy: Don't Wait Until It's Too Late:
One of the main reasons why marriage and couples counseling is unsuccessful in certain cases is that couples wait until it's too late to seek help. By the time they come to counseling, the relationship is over in all by name.

It's not unusual for me to hear people say, "We've already hired divorce attorneys, but we thought we would give it one last ditch effort." Often one or both people are really not motivated to stay together. One of the partners might really know that he or she wants the relationship to end, but comes to couples counseling to appear as if he or she is being fair, especially if the other person doesn't really want the divorce.

This is not to say that relationships at this stage can never be salvaged, but the odds of repairing a relationship are greater if the couples comes for counseling as soon as they realize that they're unable to resolve their problems on their own.

If you and your partner are having problems in your relationship that you've been unable to resolve on your own, don't wait until it's too late. You could benefit from seeking the help of a marriage or couples counselor who is a licensed mental health professional.

About Me
I am a licensed psychotherapist in NYC who works with individuals and couples.

My services include: psychodynamic psychotherapy, cognitive behavioral treatment, clinical hypnosis, EMDR, and Somatic Experiencing.

I've helped many individuals and couples, both heterosexual and gay, to improve their relationships.

To find out more about me, visit my website: Josephine Ferraro, LCSW - NYC Psychotherapist.

To set up a consultation, call me at (917) 742-2624 during business hours or email me.