Something I hear quite often in couple counselling is:
“We want our relationship to be how it used to be”.
This statement is actually about loss: the couple’s relationship is in a place that’s far away from the (supposedly happier) experience that the couple used to enjoy, and they are comparing now with how things used be.
The thing is: couple counselling provides no way for a couple to go back in time… and the hurt and conflicts that have brought the couple to me for counselling cannot be erased or forgotten.
The following allegory is a lovely way of suggesting a couple’s beginning in couple counselling:-
… because couples who complete their work in counselling, and who have decided to stay together, have often commented that their relationship is in a different place to how it was before counselling – and how different the place is from the place that they’d originally wanted to return.
Rather like what the Japanese call kintsukuroi (“golden repair”).