Couples Issues and Cognitive Behavior

Last Updated on October 21, 2020 by Marilyn Walker

Cognitive Behavior Treatment can be helpful in many ways. Solving couple issues is one of them.

Many couples have problems in their relationship. Sometimes a third party’s help or a different perspective is needed to solve these problems. This assistance can be best achieved by sharing a basic set of skills and experiences in relation to human relationships, especially marriage. Over the last two decades, there has been a rapid accumulation of knowledge of mental problems, which has contributed significantly to the solution of the problems of people in close contact.

Cognitive Approach

This new approach, which is effective in psychology and psychotherapy (the technique of treating mental problems through relationship and verbal communication) is called cognitive therapy. The word cognitive is Latin and means “thinking.” People’s decisions; reviews; the ways in which other people interpret their movements are related to the cognitive field. Cognitive therapy examines the effect of people’s thoughts on solving or creating or increasing one’s problems. Our success, happiness and even our existence to a large extent determines how we think. If our thinking is appropriate and clear, it will be easier for us to achieve our goals. If our thinking works with distorted, symbolic meanings, irrational reasoning and misinterpretations, we become psychologically deaf and blind. By stumbling without knowing what we are doing or where we are going, we harm both ourselves and our environment.

By making misjudgments and miscommunications, we cause pain to both our spouse and ourselves, and this is the main reason for our mutual retaliation with our spouse. An example of such over thinking is often similar to the way we think when we understand that we have made a mistake in our daily life and that we need to correct it. Unfortunately, in a close relationship – where clear thinking and correcting our mistakes is extremely important – we are particularly incapable of understanding and correcting our partner’s misjudgment.

Let’s Examine a Sample

Let’s clarify the situation with a sample case with a couple. Candace and Alex are both professionals who work intensively; and because they do not have time, they do not have much opportunity to do something together. On a Saturday, Candace tells Alex that she intends to go shopping in the afternoon. Alex who wants to get close to Candace, decides to accompany her knowing this opportunity. Candace, who is very busy doing household chores and reading in that day, considers this situation as a meddling (“she never lets me do anything by myself”). However, she does not object to Alex coming with her and remains silent throughout the shopping. Alex interprets her silence as an aversion to his companionship and feels anger at Candace. She responds to his anger by pulling herself back.

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A couple arguing

As with Alex and Candace, many repetitive misunderstandings and the resulting anger erode the foundations of the relationship. The important thing is that we can correct these misunderstandings before they go too far. Cognitive therapy is aimshelping couples to do this, to help clarify their thoughts and communication and to avoid misunderstandings.

Cindy Brown
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