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Why do my great relationships sour over time?

“Hey Doctor, why are my relationships so great and happy in the beginning and then it goes bad once there is a level of comfort and security in the relationship? This seems to be a common problem in my life, could you give me some general advice?”

Depending on your particular situation, I would advise one or both of the following:

  1. The endorphins released and the chemical reactions that takes place in your brain at the begining of a relationship are similar to the “high” you would get from other types of drugs such as cocaine.  Because you are in an “altered state” you tend to overlook qualities that might send you away otherwise.  After this has worn off and your brain is no longer supplying the influx of chemicals, you are able to see the person for who they really are.  Some people who suffer from addiction will chase this “high” when it wears off in search of a new relationship or extra-marital affairs.
  2. Once comfortable in a relationship we tend to replay the dysfunction of our parent’s marriage due to what we witnessed in our parent’s relationship growing up.  We subconsciously pick the same type of relationship as our parents had in an effort to repair the past.

I hope this gives you some understanding of why this happens even in a general sense. If you would like more specific information regarding your happiness and healthy relationships, please call our office for an appointment. We’re located in Metairie (504) 717-4043 or Mandeville (985) 624-2942

-Response from Therapist Dana Duet-Champagne

Marriage Counseling: How and why it can help your relationship

How will Marriage Counseling help you?

  • Resolve conflict
  • Learn new communication skills
  • Therapy guides you both through your positive skills
  • Grow better, together

It is common for couples even in strong relationships and marriages to have difficulty at times.  This is because we each bring our communication and coping skill sets into our relationships, and at some point in the relationship those skills might be clashing or might not be developed enough to handle stressors that the relationship encounters.  If the couple can’t move past these glitches on their own, couples counseling can be very effective at helping them learn new skills and new ways of relating.  Interestingly, our best research indicates that even the healthiest couples disagree up to 70% of the time on crucial issues, so the good news is that we don’t have to aim for convincing our partners to see things our way to achieve happiness in relationships.
Couples counseling helps you to learn which of your current skill sets are working for you in the relationship, and what skills need to be developed.  Having a neutral and objective therapist in the conversation helps the process to remain productive, calm, and allow each of you to have support in the change process.  The therapist is able to point out areas that both of you need to gain more perspective on and areas for growth.  Finally, the therapist is there to explain why certain things are happening in the relationship and teach more effective skills to get better outcomes.

Read more about individual, couple, family and group therapy advantages here