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Couples should not rely on each other as therapists and need to set boundaries.


Couples should not rely on each other as therapists and need to set boundaries.

Couples exchange their thoughts and feelings, childhood memories and trauma, secrets that no one knows before, and of course participation is an essential part of relationships, but its departure from its limits to become a burden and make one party totally dependent on the other may negatively affect the marriage relationship.

Taking one other spouse as a substitute for the therapist can ultimately harm you, and it has a significant negative impact on the relationship, so a distinction must be drawn between the spouse's expected support and the support required from a psychologist.

Not a passing talk

Sharing facts, events and secrets between spouses is not only a passing talk or a venting of feelings, it is of great importance in strengthening the marital relationship, and the more the spouses know about each other, the more they know how to exchange love and appreciation.

"Couples share information about their lives to get to know each other, strengthen communication between them, and share a form of intimacy, as they feel safe enough to be open and honest about their thoughts and feelings."

A study published by the National Library of Medicine revealed that healthy self-disclosure helps deepen and strengthen relationships and brings people to high stages of convergence.

Couples should not rely on each other as therapists and need to set boundaries.

Your partner is not everything

With these great benefits of participation, however, there is a high line between sharing problems, and overburdening the other side and waiting for support and deep sympathy may lead the other to resentment and attrition.

Even with one spouse's love for the other and willingness to provide the best assistance, he or she may not be able to do so or if he or she lacks the mechanisms and methods to deal with crises.

On the other hand, the other side may feel emotionally neglected because it is your problems that dominate the relationship all the time and do not find space to express themselves.

For these reasons, it is important that life's partner be one of the sources of support in our lives, not the only one, and that we seek support from other relatives and psychologists when needed.

Why do we need the support of specialists?

When crises persist and you don't just go through them with your husband, you should look for a therapist to receive real support, learn the skills to deal with your thoughts and feelings, and that will have a positive impact and may change your outlook on yourself and life.

Psychotherapy provides a special space for an individual to talk about their problems, it is a one-sided professional relationship of its nature focused on the client receiving the required care, and the therapist gives him room.

Does one of the other spouses use a therapist?

You may be perplexed about the nature of what you share with your partner, whether they are within acceptable limits or not, and to illustrate this further, these are some signs that one spouse relies on the other to act as a therapist:

You're totally dependent on it.

A marital relationship becomes reliable when one spouse gives more time, energy and concentration to the other spouse, resulting in a severe imbalance in the relationship.

Psychiatrist and matrimonial therapist Patrice Inn Douglas points out that the husband should not be dependent on the other and should not have high expectations of obtaining all support from only one person.

So if you find yourself totally relying on your husband to deal with your own feelings and make your own decisions, and only proceeding according to his advice, it can inadvertently overwhelm and burden him with worries.

Unilateral relationship and your partner avoids you

Healthy relationships depend on the exchange of exertion and tender between the parties, so when one becomes a recipient only, the needs and feelings of the other break down and feel irrelevant and unappreciated.

When you go through a crisis, your husband will want to do anything he can to alleviate you, but if you start to rely on him as a psychotherapist, it can affect his feelings for you, feel the psychological burden, and he may start to get away from you, to avoid drowning in your problems and the gap between you two grows.
Couples should not rely on each other as therapists and need to set boundaries.

How can you support your husband?

If you are the person who plays the role of a therapist and would like to talk to your partner for a psychotherapist, psychiatrist Jacqueline Sherman suggests simple steps to engage in this conversation, without hurting his feelings or reducing his vulnerability, noting that it is about choosing the right timing, dialogue style, and tone used.

She says that one of the spouses should start by "praising the other side and having the courage to open up to you and ask for your support, and then suggest additional support from a competent person with a greater ability to help", bearing in mind the importance of showing your acceptance and sympathy to your partner and respecting his feelings at these moments.

You can also help your partner find other sources of support, and a study on emotional resilience suggested that having a rich social network of parents and friends and not relying on just one source has many benefits, including reduced stress and mood disorders.


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