It's not uncommon for two people who love each other dearly to question whether their marriage is worth saving. This is especially a common thought for couples who are finding it more and more difficult to repair the relationship after moments of distress. When the question of whether your marriage is worth saving surfaces, where do you go from there?
I've worked with couples who have walked into my office with their minds made up that It Just Won't Work. At one point, during an intake session, a husband said to me in a moment of frustration, "We have tried everything we know to try. This is us giving it our last chance!" His wife nodded her head in agreement. That might have been the first time they’d both agreed on something in a while. I have often thought back to the weight of his statement. A weight he and his wife had been carrying. A burden I then extended my hand and my expertise to help them release.
As therapists, we can never guarantee that a marriage will survive the injuries that have taken place. What we can do, is confidently bring our expertise, proven theories, and skills into the therapy room to help the couple fight to stay together. Emotionally Focused Therapy is one the modalities that has helped me to do just that with just about every couple I have worked with. I have witnessed couples grapple with unresolved conflicts, unexpressed needs, and buried emotions. When used effectively, EFT excels at helping partners unearth these deep-seated feelings. It also aids them in expressing their vulnerabilities.
EFT operates through three transformative stages:
De-escalation of Negative Cycles - Couples identify and break free from destructive patterns of interaction, gaining clarity to confront their unresolved emotions. Identifying the cycle is key!
Rebuilding Emotional Bonds - With newfound awareness, couples delve into their emotions, sharing vulnerabilities and unmet needs. This process fosters a deeper emotional connection. This is what we want, right?
Consolidation and Integration - In the final stage, couples develop healthier patterns of interaction, rooted in empathy and understanding. They learn to address conflicts constructively and work together to create a more secure foundation.
If you're at a crossroads where you're questioning the worth of your marriage, remember that EFT offers hope, healing, and a chance to reignite your connection. If you’ve tried couples therapy in the past and have not seen much progress, maybe you should consider working with a therapist who is familiar with Emotionally Focused Therapy.
See you in the next blog!
-Sileta Bell, MMFT, Domestic Mediator
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