First of all, we would like to dispel the myth that there are couples who do not experience moments of crisis. All couples, both heterosexual and homosexual, experience moments of happiness and satisfaction, tranquility and moments of crisis. The couple crisis is a reality.
A couple who for years does not go through a period of crisis and who seems “perfect” in the eyes of friends and acquaintances, could be at high risk of separation and / or divorce. In fact, differences of opinion, mutual dissatisfactions, are canceled out in the name of “quiet living”. This, in reality with the passage of time, increases the risk of deep and irremediable couple crises.
When a couple in crisis seeks therapy, it is often because of difficulties experienced in the sexual sphere. Sexuality is, in fact, a very important part for the life of a couple and also what distinguishes it from other types of relationships (for example from friendship relationships). A sexual disorder in one or both partners (erectile dysfunction, vaginismus, premature or delayed ejaculation) is an opportunity to understand how a couple relates. Sex is not a separate part of the relationship, it is the relationship.
A couple crisis is a moment of growth, in which new possibilities of relationship open up both with oneself and with others. In fact, people often say that their marriage is in crisis, but they cannot see their contribution to the crisis. What goes into crisis are our expectations, our beliefs as to what a couple relationship should be, beliefs that come from our family of origin. When people come to therapy even with the desire to recover the relationship, they are often overly aggressive and hypercritical with partners who have disappointed their expectations, thus increasing the chances of separation or infidelity.
But a crisis is the best opportunity to increase the chances of really knowing yourself and your partner. The word crisis (in Greek Krisis) has the meaning of choice, decision and in Japanese it means crucial moment and opportunity. Often after a crisis, but also during its elaboration in therapy, people experience an increase in sexual desire, and also increase their sexual potential. They feel more comfortable with their bodies and can finally open up to themselves and their partners.
However, the sexual sphere is not always affected by the crisis. Some couples, despite serious relationship problems, experience a good sex life; they use sex as an anesthetic of their misunderstandings. In the long run, this mechanism does not hold and the couple will have to face unresolved problems.
Couple therapy is a space in which partners can discuss their expectations, their disappointments, their aspirations about themselves and about the relationship. A third person (the therapist) will offer themselves as a mediator. The modality of carrying out a couple therapy varies according to the suffering experienced by the people who are in therapy.