Relationship Counselling Stockport
Within intimate partnerships roles metamorphosis as the relationship develops. Mutual support is given and expected, and our relationship grows.
But within some relationships the balance of responsibility is skewed. A marked imbalance occurs and the role of either the Parent or the Child is adopted.
The name given to this phenomenon is symbiosis. Symbiosis is a consequence of operating from only one of our three Ego States (Parent, Adult and Child) within a relationship. Typically both parties play their roles out of awareness (hence the Adult ego state being excluded) in order to keep the other party interested. The result can sometimes be a fairly straightforward symbiosis where both parties live their life without much difficulty.
You’ll know these couples. One half organises, cares for and gently reproaches their partner. The other half accommodates by bringing a level of manageable chaos, being problem prone and making bad choices. A co-dependence is established and co-existence is predictable within the realms of the symbioses. However, relationship problems can and do occur within symbiotic relationships.
The more the roles are acted out the harder they are to shake off. If you have adopted the role of the Parent in your relationship it can be tiring, spirit zapping and boring.
You might find yourself:
- Organising the household
- Sorting out bill payments
- Pulling your partner out of one of their usual messes (drunken idiocy/spent up before pay-day/ fall out with friends)
- Acting like a parent cum concierge cum therapist
- Moaning to your peers about your partner’s ineptitude
- Disinterested in sex
If you’re thinking about relationship counselling Stockport Psychotherapy can help you to take steps to re-align your partnership.
- Ask your partner how they view the respective roles within your relationship.
- Calmly and without confrontation tell your partner your view on your partnership.
- Be prepared to give up some control and learn to trust your partner. Share responsibilities such as bill payments, shopping and cleaning.
- Learn something from your partner whether it’s playing the harmonica or learning to play ping-pong.
- Remember your partner is a fully functioning Adult in other areas of their life and that symbiosis is co-created it’s not the problem of just one person.
- Spend time apart and temporarily let go of domestic responsibilities. This could mean anything from spending a Sunday afternoon in a cafe reading the papers to relaxing weekend away with friends.
- If your relationship seems stuck in a symbiosis invest in some therapy sessions. A neutral view can make the world of difference.