Couples Therapy Technique For Improving A Relationship – Dr. Bruce Derman – The Relationship Doctor
My husband and I are on the verge of divorce. We’ve seen several therapists and we can’t seem to connect in the way we once did. I want him to listen to me. He wants me to accept him as he is. I want more intimacy. He wants more sex. Is there any hope for a couple like us?
In regards to your question “Is there’s any hope for your relationship?”, it appears to me that you’re caught up in what I call a difference game, that I describe in my book We’d Have A Great Relationship If It Weren’t For You. In that difference game each couple tries to prove that one is better or less than the other and they use all different topics. I had one couple who used a chicken. How to cut a chicken. And fought over that as to who’s the most stupid. All this gives the appearance of difference. If you were truly different then you wouldn’t be together.
My premise is that any couple who is together is the same, not different. You’re both equally frightened and equally afraid of a committed relationship. And this emphasis of equality and mutuality is at the heart of my approach. And I hold firm that each couple who is together is the same, despite their attempts to prove to me that they’re different. And that they are the exception to the rule. And a couple who can allow that sameness and go by going beneath the differences, they will find, that there will be a softening in the relationship. They will find the love that they’ve had before. But in order to accomplish this, you really need to make a strong commitment. Because for many couples, there’s been much more attention paid to your differences than to your sameness. So you really need to make a strong commitment. You need to remember that only couples who see themselves as equals can be intimate. If you’re out to prove inequality you can’t have an intimate relationship. You can have a lot of fighting, you can end up being divorced, but no intimacy.
Author: Bruce Derman Ph.D. is a licensed clinical psychologist in private practice in Woodland Hills and Santa Monica, California who specializes in working with people in all stages of relationships. You may reach Dr. Derman by calling (818) 375-7194.