For any couple, maintaining a healthy relationship requires effective communication, friendship, being able to discuss feelings and feel heard, an active and creative romantic life, the ability to solve problems together, forgiveness and taking responsibility for mistakes. However these things can be hard to do, particularly when we have been in a relationship for some time, when we get caught up in our own fears and defences or when we become distanced in commitments through work, family or friends.
Problems in our relationships can affect our quality of life. If left unaddressed, relationship issues can lead people to feel anxious, depressed and isolated and we risk the relationship breaking down completely. This can be particularly true for same-sex couples who have not “come-out” and therefore do not have the support network that they need to navigate these difficulties.
Many couples approach a relationship counsellor or therapist when they are facing struggles in their relationship. Couples counsellors can help people to develop new communication skills, reacquaint people with each other and gain a deeper understanding of their own needs, feelings and wants. In order to do this, the counsellor or therapist needs to be attuned to the specific needs of the couple. This is particularly true for same sex couples who require a counsellor who is sensitive to their specific needs and the challenges that they can face at both an individual, family and societal level.
Some of the common issues facing same-sex couples include:
- Communication issues
- Changes to the structure of their relationship (ie if the relationship began as an open one but then one party wishes to make it exclusive)
- Not having a strong support network
- Lack of intimacy
- Lack of trust
- One party wishes to “come out” to family and friends and the other does not feel the same way
- Domestic Violence
- Dishonesty by one or both parties
- Attachment issues and problems relating to family of origin
The counselling process can help people to address some of the difficult issues listed above. It can also help you to learn to reconnect with one another in a more positive way, strengthen communication and make decisions about how you want to move forward.
If you and/or your partner would like to talk to someone about your relationship, please contact Eliza on 0417 910 911.Leave a reply →