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When Couples Therapy Becomes a Weapon

๐ŸŒˆ Abstract

The article discusses the author's experience with couples therapy during the end of their decade-long relationship with their ex-partner, and their reflections on the process and limitations of couples therapy.

๐Ÿ™‹ Q&A

[01] The Author's Relationship History and Therapy Experiences

1. What was the author's relationship history and experience with therapy prior to their current marriage?

  • The author had a decade-long relationship with their ex-partner, during which they saw more therapists than they currently have friends to discuss issues like sexual assault, disordered eating, family relationships, and anger.
  • The author's conversations with therapists during this time period became almost entirely focused on their relationship with their ex-partner.

2. What were the author's initial thoughts on couples therapy when their relationship first became rocky?

  • As a "good little millennial", the author thought couples therapy was the obvious decision when their relationship first got rocky early on.

3. What were the author's experiences with the various couples therapists they saw over the years?

  • The author saw a series of interchangeable therapists, all named Teresa, who had different perspectives on the issues in the relationship.
  • Some therapists seemed to believe the narrative the couple gave about being "cosmically destined" to be together, while others were unable to help them resolve their recurring arguments.
  • The therapists often seemed exhausted by the couple and the author felt their strategies were unlikely to succeed.

[02] The Author's Reflections on Couples Therapy

1. How did the author feel the couples therapy sessions impacted their relationship?

  • Instead of helping the couple see each other more clearly, the therapy sessions gave them new words to criticize each other, with every constructive lesson becoming a "knife" in the relationship.

2. What did the author wish the therapists had told them about their relationship?

  • The author wished the therapists had given them permission to stop trying and told them they had done everything they could, rather than continuing to urge them to come back and try again.

3. What realization did the author have about their ex-partner's final assessment of them?

  • The author realized that their ex-partner's statement that no one would put as much work into the relationship as they did was actually a cruelty, but the author repeated those words to themselves as a reminder that no one would fight that hard to stay with them again.
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