Ranka Joyce Relationship Counselling

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Success Stories

Alvin Overcomes His Need to Control His Partners and Finds Relationship Happiness

Molly and Sam Heal Their Childhood Wounds and Become Closer That They’d Ever Been Before

Maria Attends Counselling Alone and Makes Changes That Improve Her Relationship

Alvin Overcomes His Need to Control His Partners and Finds Relationship Happiness

Alvin came to me devastated because his partner, Shelly, had left him.

 

Alvin had experienced a difficult divorce prior to meeting Shelly and after they got together he felt his life was finally on track.

 

Alvin felt hopeless and lost after Shelly left him. He felt he gave all of himself to her and that was not enough.

Alvin believed HE was “not enough”.

He thought there was something wrong with him because he could not have a successful relationship.

 

When Alvin and I started working together, we explored his history – his past relationships and his experience in his family of origin.

 

Both Alvin’s father and mother were emotionally unavailable to him when he was a child. They worked long hours in order to support their family.

 

Alvin was left at home alone for days on end when his parents worked. He learned to fend for himself early in his life.

 

When his siblings arrived, he was responsible for looking after them. The only praise he remembers getting from his father was for caring for his siblings.

 

When Alvin came to counselling, he didn’t know he had a right to have needs. His whole childhood was spent caring for others, at the expense of his own.

 

Alvin then repeated this pattern in his relationships in his adult life of over-focusing on his partner’s needs and neglecting his own.

Because Alvin didn’t know how to get his needs met in relationships, he became resentful towards Shelly, as well as his first wife.

Alvin’s resentment manifested as controlling behaviors and outbursts of anger at his partners. Shelly told him that one of the reasons she left was because he was controlling.

 

Through counselling, Alvin was able to become more aware of his feelings of being scared, anxious and lonely as a child. Because he felt so little control over his life when he was young, he now understood that as a result, he developed a need to control his feelings and his intimate partners.

Therapy helped Alvin see himself through his partners’ eyes. He now understood why his relationships had always failed.

Alvin grieved for the little boy he was as a child who did not get his needs met by his parents. As therapy progressed, he became more in touch with himself and his feelings, which helped him grow and become stronger.

 

Alvin became less afraid and more open about expressing his feelings. Alvin told me that therapy helped him became ‘softer and kinder’ to himself and others in his life.’

7 months after finishing therapy, Alvin emailed me to tell me that he met a woman he really liked.

Alvin stated that he felt a positive shift in his attitude and behaviour towards his new partner, Carol. He said that Carol responded to him in such loving ways – ways he didn’t know were possible in a relationship.

Molly and Sam Heal Their Childhood Wounds and Become Closer That They’d Ever Been Before

When Molly and Sam came to see me for therapy, they were distressed and exhausted due to the conflict in their relationship.

 

They were fighting all the time. As is typical in troubled relationships, each saw the other as the problem and were hoping that I would help change their partner.

Molly and Sam wanted a solution to their escalating fights and cycle of blame, attack, and withdrawal, but they were worried that it was too late.

Both Molly and Sam felt unloved by each other and stated that they could not trust each other anymore.

 

They told me that at one time they felt supported and loved by each other.

Unfortunately, the good times they once shared were long gone. It was rare when they felt supported and cared for by each other.

Molly’s constant complaint was that Sam was not there for her, had no feelings, and that he worked all the time.

Through therapy, we discovered that when Molly was hurt and feeling abandoned, she would become angry and would demand Sam’s attention.

Molly would insist that Sam hear her while at the same time criticising him and telling him what a lousy husband he was.

Sam’s complaint about Molly was that she was demanding, all consuming, and that nothing was ever good enough for her.

In therapy, it was discovered that Sam would sometimes withdraw from her even before she said anything because he would feel it coming and then feel trapped. He felt he needed time alone to process the issue that they were fighting about, as this is how insights came to him.

When Sam felt hurt, he built an invisible wall of defense around him. He would turn to his smart phone, computer, or TV, literally shutting Molly out for days.

Sam would also ridicule Molly and her feelings and would switch from being distant and unavailable to furious in a matter of seconds. His rage terrified Molly.

 

In our work together, we started by exploring both Molly and Sam’s unmet and repressed childhood needs.

 

Molly’s mother was always busy as she worked long hours. She attended well to Molly’s physical needs but was unavailable emotionally.

 

Molly’s father would go to play poker straight after work and believed children were there to be seen and not heard.

Molly felt invisible and abandoned as a child. She concluded that there was something seriously wrong with her otherwise her parents would surely love her.

Sam grew up in a family of overachievers. Both of his parents were successful professionals who expected him to follow their steps, do well, and take over their business one day. Sam’s parents never asked him what he wanted and needed.

Sam often felt helpless, controlled, and smothered by his parents. He feared they would be critical and angry if he didn’t meet his parents’ expectations.

As we discussed their childhood experiences, Sam and Molly developed compassion for each other’s experiences and came to understand they both act in destructive ways when they are hurt.

As Molly and Sam began to heal their childhood relationship wounds, they were more able to connect with one another. They each began to forgive each other and became closer and more loving towards each other.

As therapy progressed, Molly and Sam adopted more constructive ways of communicating and learned how to listen to each other, and how to manage their differences without fighting all the time.

After 8 months of weekly therapy, Molly and Sam re-created a loving, safe and trusting relationship that was stronger than they’d ever had before.

Maria Attends Counselling Alone and Makes Changes That Improve Her Relationship

Maria came to counselling because she was unhappy in her relationship. She came alone because her partner, Matt, refused to come with her.

 

Maria was worried that her relationship could not improve in therapy without Matt there.

 

However, she came to therapy anyway as she was desperate for help. She was trying to decide if she should stay in the relationship or leave.

 

Maria reported that she had tried everything to improve her relationship, but nothing worked. She felt powerless and hopeless.

 

Maria believed that Matt was THE problem in their unhappy relationship.

 

Maria described her role in her relationship with Matt was that of a parent, and Matt had the role of a child. Maria described herself as self-reliant and Matt as irresponsible and clingy.

In our early therapy sessions, Maria was reluctant to talk about herself. She felt she had already worked through her issues.

Eventually, Maria told me that her parents split up when she was 5 years old, and she never forgave them for ruining her childhood. As a result of her parent’s divorce, Maria decided she would have to look after herself and so that she would never have to rely on anybody.

 

All Maria ever wanted was to find a strong man, but for some reason, she always ended up with men who were weak and clingy.

Through counselling, Maria realized that she was unconsciously attracted to needy men because she believed that they would never leave her. While her partners did not leave her, she despised them for their weakness.

Therapy also helped Maria realise that she too had a suppressed neediness. This weighed heavily on her, as all she wanted was to be loved.

 

Once Maria began to heal the pain she had due to her parent’s divorce, she was able to identify how her role of being the self-reliant partner was negatively impacting her relationship with Matt.

 

Maria shared these insights about herself with Matt at home. Matt responded in a supportive and loving manner. He told her that all he ever wanted was to be there for her.

 

Matt also shared his pain of his parent’s divorce with Maria. His mother was very practical but offered very little emotional connection, which left him feeling anxious.

In his adult life, Matt realized that he was attracted to strong women because he felt he didn’t have any ‘sense of self’ and needed a woman to lean on.

As Maria allowed herself to soften and be more vulnerable with Matt, he was able to step up. He felt more assured of his capacity to be more of an adult in the relationship and be more supportive of Maria.

When Maria ended therapy, she had decided to stay in her relationship with Matt. She was feeling happy and fulfilled.

Imagine what it will be like when you again feel deep love for your partner and feel more loved than ever before.

You and your partner have an incredible opportunity available to you with couples therapy.

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