Couples tend to get into cyclical problematic dynamics of withdrawing and shutting down, or escalating and arguing. Often one partner pursues the other (wanting connection but not knowing how to achieve it) while the other one retreats, feeling overwhelmed and shut down. This cycle is very typical in problematic relationships and is what Dr. Sue Johnson refers to as the distancer and pursuer dance. Check out her video below to hear more about this common relationship pitfall.
Its not overt conflict that necessarily indicates a troubled relationship. Dr. Johnson speaks about how fighting within the context of feeling overall safe in the partnership is healthy, but the true indicator of trouble is distance and a lack of emotional safety and trust.
Fortunately, couples counseling can help you to identify the dynamic and repair the damage, leading to deepened trust and intimacy.
Call (510) 982-6401 for a free phone consultation.