By Melissa Coats, LPC
Talking with partners about fantasies tends to be an uncomfortable subject for many people. Even HAVING fantasies can feel uncomfortable. Many times, this is because of the great number of misconceptions about fantasies floating around out there.
Fantasies live in our minds. They usually provide some sort of pleasure, and since they live in our minds, they are usually perfect! Nothing goes wrong in a fantasy, there is no awkwardness, no one's feelings get hurt, etc. But just because we have a fantasy, does not always mean we want it in real life. Sometimes fantasies are attractive because they exist in that perfect realm!
“What if my partner won’t go to therapy with me?”
It’s a question couples and relationship therapists get quite often. There are problems in the relationship,, and one partner is more comfortable with the idea of therapy than the other. You can see things getting worse and get increasingly frustrated and confused when your partner says no to therapy.
There are many reasons why someone may be uncomfortable going to therapy, even if they have been to therapy before. The therapeutic process often can elicit a flurry of uncomfortable emotions, confrontation of our deepest fears and flaws, and a flood of painful memories. When I put it like that, sometimes I wonder why anyone would sign up for therapy?! Even those of us who have had plenty of counseling can feel intimidated by starting the process again. We humans are very good at staying in what is familiar, even if it is uncomfortable.
By Melissa Coats - True Connection Tuesday
Allow me to set a scene for you. I’m standing looking at my partner, who has known me for YEARS, and I have a distinct look of awe on my face as we go for the third round in an argument that has moved from one floor of the house and back again twice. “He doesn’t care or understand at all!” is the thought. The hurt and disbelief are so powerful that I can literally not understand how this person who has known me forever doesn’t comprehend my perspective and why I am upset.
I think it is fair to say that you are not alone. Recently, as we enter the holiday season, still trying to manage challenges from the pandemic, I have heard more and more couples struggling with feeling misunderstood by their partner. First of all, in a “normal” year, the holidays stir up plenty of disagreements on family, boundaries, how to spend your time, money, stress…you name it. This year, we have feelings about politics and pandemics to contend with, among so many other things.