Couples Therapist, Heal Yourself
As a couples therapist, I encourage my clients to be direct and concise in expressing their wants and needs in a relationship. I advise them that there is healthy conflict and that putting pressure on relationships is how they become stronger and deeper.
However, I found that I was not practicing what I preached in my own marriage. I had become conflict-averse and stopped sharing what was happening inside me with my husband. This led to the disappearance of the emotional intimacy we once shared, and I became increasingly resentful and lonely.
To avoid conflict, I stopped talking to my husband about my desires and wishes. I set up my defense against him in my head, telling myself that he was incapable of approaching, that he was emotionally tight-fisted, and that he had no interest in me beyond the helper role I played in his life.
It wasn’t until a conversation about getting a dog that I realized I needed to face my fears of conflict and be direct with my husband. Although he initially said no to the idea, we eventually decided to go to couples therapy.
As our therapist pointed out, I was silencing myself, and my husband was defensive and judgmental. Through months of therapy, we learned to take emotional risks, open up, and tolerate conflict. We argued, but we also reached agreements and are now more connected than ever before.
So, if you’re a couples therapist like me, don’t forget to practice what you preach and heal your own relationships from the inside out. It’s never too late to communicate openly and work together to strengthen your bond.