One of the things that I notice most when working with couples in therapy is how much each partner longs to be “seen” and known by the other. Of course, it certainly shouldn’t be a surprise. Think back to the days when we were little, and we wanted our parents to watch everything we did. We wanted them to see our accomplishments, and to notice how awesome we were at a new skill, etc. And, it was never enough for them to see us do something just once. We wanted them to watch us over and over, and then to verbally applaud our efforts! It must have been exhausting for them. What we wanted then, what we NEEDED then, is what we need now in our marriages and loving relationships. We need to be seen and known, on a deep and emotional level.
Sadly, for a variety of reasons, it seems so much harder in our adult relationships for us to be seen as who we really are. It’s as though the person by whom we most long to be seen and known, is somehow blinded to our accomplishments, our efforts, our desires, our hearts. Why is that? The list is long and the reasons are complicated; and I hope to touch on that in a future post. Fortunately, the solution to this problem is significantly less complicated than the causes. When we learn to be safe WITH our partners, and FOR our partners, the blinders come off and we begin to see that person who we fell in love with. As a therapist, I feel incredibly privileged to be with my clients as they experience this increase in safety, and new understanding of each other. Emotionally Focused Couple’s Therapy is uniquely designed to achieve this goal. And, it actually works!