Couples and marital therapy
The nucleus of existence
Honest and transparent exchange of information between couples is absolutely fundamental to the survival of their relationship. Man is as social as any animal can get. Humans are the only species who have a formal process of nuptial bonding; marriages are thus extremely significant customs characteristic to the human race. Of all things that make or break a relationship, the pattern of communication and humanness in interaction are two essential keys to survival and growth of any interpersonal bond. Most marital and relationship troubles arise from a combination of lack of communication, inappropriate or miscommunication; or misinterpretation of appropriate communication by members of the relationship dyad.
Information transfer between couples
The sender of any information uses symbols, words, and sentences in the form of spoken or written or electronic speech to put together a message to the receiver who is receiving that message. Encoding and decoding processes are active throughout. For some reason, if the message is wrongly encoded by the sender with some negative (intentional or unintended) emotional overtones or inappropriately decoded by the receiver (perceived character attack or misinterpretation), there is a communication deficit. Appropriate communication demands accurate encoding and decoding, especially in a marriage, where information exchange between the couple is crucial to their bond on a day-to-day basis.
Recognizing barriers is the first step towards overcoming them. Free flow of communication with diminished power imbalance between the couple assists the process. Lending enough time to listen to what the other has to say is an essential, although seemingly difficult step. Greater the channels of communication available, more are the chances of responsiveness to each other’s needs: no matter what these needs may be.
Personal level: Outrospection
As the word itself suggests, outrospection is the initiative to look outwards to find answers to problems within. It reflects engagement of empathy with a constant effort to be aware of the frame of reference and viewpoints of the partner. Each has his or her personal limitations. Prejudices, jealousy, fear, selective perception, cognitive biases and heuristics demonstrate counteractions of human inadequacies based upon misperception, misinterpretation and miscommunication. It is essential to better the communication process to rebuild the connect.
Keeping the spark alive
The initial excitement of being together is well understood as the ‘honeymoon period’ of any relationship. After that, partners tend to fall into a routine and begin taking each another for granted. They presume it is all right to forget birthdays, be late for a date, not look and smell as good as earlier; and spend more time away from their partners. When people fail to show how much they care, the love and want for each other fades away. It takes few words, few deeds, and few events to make or break that belongingness. Couples need to take that extra step to make their partners feel wanted, loved and needed. It reflects back on the giver too.
MINDFRAMES: Rekindling the spark
As the word suggests, a skill is a proficiency, lack of which is also known as deficiency. To succeed in a relationship, partners need to communicate when they are happy as well as appropriately do so when not. Resentment is less toxic when constructively expressed rather than repressed; only to build on hatred and anger towards that important life partner over a period of time. Our relationship behavior expertise along with specialized cognitive and rational emotive acumen allows us to facilitate this realization in individuals so that they are directed towards personal growth as human beings as well as betterment of the relationship dyad as an independent entity that needs its own nourishment for survival. Relationships are frequently taken for granted, especially nuptial ones. respect, regard and love need to be regenerated and rejuvenated time to time.