Love Les­son

Cosmopolitan (India) - - YOU, YOU, YOU -

Caro­line Hast­ings is a cou­ples coun­sel­lor and sex therapist. “As a therapist, many of the cou­ples I see are on the brink of a split and come to coun­selling with lit­tle hope for the sur­vival of their re­la­tion­ship. Re­sent­ment over money, house­hold chores, child-rear­ing, sex, exes or af­fairs are the main rea­sons that peo­ple seek help. They usu­ally feel guilty that they can’t make their re­la­tion­ship work—then project their guilt on to the other part­ner by say­ing ‘It’s all his/her fault’. “I let clients talk about and lis­ten to each other’s re­sent­ments without in­ter­rup­tion, and some­times this is the first time they’ve been able to do so without one per­son leav­ing the room up­set or an­gry. Re­la­tion­ships aren’t meant to be straight­for­ward. Some­times con­flict has to hap­pen, and get­ting through that to­gether can lead to a more fulfilling re­la­tion­ship. A cou­ple’s con­flict style can be ag­gres­sive, pas­sive-ag­gres­sive or a bit of both. Once cou­ples are aware what con­flict styles are, it be­comes eas­ier to work through their is­sues. Some clients even end up laugh­ing when they’re us­ing their own con­flict style. That self-aware­ness is a sign the re­la­tion­ship will sur­vive.”

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