Working with Couple Relationships

"Love is the extremely difficult realization that someone other than oneself is real" * Iris Murdoch (1999 p. 215)

Maintaining a vibrant relationship takes work. A strong couple must not only offer a nurturing frame of security and love, but also support each partner in the development and realisation of each partner's potential. This is hard enough to do that when there is just the two of you, yet quite another kind of challenge when we face the competing demands of time, distance, work, money, kids, parents, friends and lovers.

Any of these will put pressure on a relationship. It can become challenging even to find the time to talk, and when talking dissolves into quarrelling, it is easy to lose sight of what we love about our partner.

All couples disagree. It is a healthy part of holding difference in a relationship, however it is important that we agree to rules on how to keep our disagreements safe. If we can do this, the energy created during dischord may be redireted towords holding a couple together - rather than driving them apart. It is easy to convince ourselves that the other person is the sole cause of all our problems. Yet growing our tolerance and appreciation of difference are key steps towards securing happy and healthy interdependence in any relationship. 



*Murdoch, I. (1999) Existentialists and Mystics, Peter Conradi (ed.) (London: Penguin).