Becoming Dreaded Roommates. Emotionally committed relationships bring excitement and passion to our lives, especially when they are new. When we first enter into a committed relationship, we may think that we have found the answer to life’s problems, that we have a partner to share in the daily turmoil, that we will never be alone again, and that it will be smooth sailing from here on out. If we base relationships on these assumptions, however, we may be sorely disappointed when our partners fail to live up to these expectations.
Becoming Dreaded Roommates
In couples counseling, I often hear this phrase,
“I feel like we’re just roommates, and bad roommates at that.” Over time, it is natural to confront some roadblocks, rooted in our own personal issues, that may distance us from our partners.
There is a strong probability that if we depend on another person to completely fulfill us, we will soon be disappointed, and start seeing that person as the cause of our disappointment. This pattern of behavior is responsible for a great deal of discord in committed relationships. Couples who come to see me for Marriage Counseling actually hope that the therapy will change their partner because they are convinced their partner is the source of the problem. Continued arguments with poor conflict resolution skills and inappropriate, acting out behavior make for poor prognosis for a happy future.
In Marriage Counseling I teach each partner to concentrate on themselves without alienating each other. This helps them get in touch with their own feelings without telling each other how to think and feel. Allowing autonomy to flourish within the We produces partners with a healthy dose of differentiation while still remaining deeply – and intimately – committed to each other.
My first marriage was the inspiration for this article. Our 16 years of We devolved into two completed differentiated individuals wanting different things. While he and I are still friends our paths have long since diverged. It happens.
Can you relate to this article? Are you currently involved in a dreaded roommate relationship?
For more information on keeping intimacy and romance alive call me at (858) 735-1139.