Published in El Pais, 19 August 2018.
When a couple goes to psychological therapy for relationship problems (jealousy, infidelity, lack of understanding, communication failures, failures in the assumption of roles, unresolved consequences of separation …) what is really important is to delimit -with the couple who consult- an analysis that allows to construct the true reason for consultation and possible solutions to the problem. Each pair constructs its own unique, specific, original bond that defines its very existence and marks its limits. It seems that the conception of a couple does not accept absolutes, therefore we believe that an excessive simplification of the complexity of human relations generates comfortable – ideal – schemes, but that it could block or perpetuate the problems that they intend to solve. In that sense it will be important to consider the inexorable idea that you cannot make of two people, one; that they can only seek a viable coexistence in time, on condition that they recognize this imperative and build their own reality by working on a possible relationship between couples.
Any preconceived norm of what a couple should or should not be, is totally useless in psychological therapy, similar forms of relationship in terms of distribution of responsibility, sexual practices, ways of solving problems, etc., can be presented for a couple as signs of good functioning and for another it can be signs of something catastrophic, that is to say that on the problems of relationship there are particular experiences, that which for some couple may be important for another no.
There is not a predetermined norm model for couples to follow, that is the failure of educational-institutional maneuvers that start from a single ideal. The problems of conjugal relationship seem to be universal and to be present in all cultures, social classes, ethnic groups, religions and ages. Believing that there is a couple that has not gone through crisis and / or conflicts in their relationship seems naive and unsustainable. The difference between one and the other resides in the fact of which personal resources matter and which couple strategies are used to solve these problems and to go from persistence, that is to say more of the same, to creative and perhaps unsuspected change. A problem of conjugal relationship solved in the right way could mean strengthening the family bond and a lesson for children coping with conflicts.