I am feeling disconnected from my partner. We have stopped relating with each other and we fight very often. I feel my partner has stopped growing and changing with the time in our relationship.
- Dr. Schwartz responds to questions about psychotherapy and mental health problems, from the perspective of his training in clinical psychology.
- Dr. Schwartz intends his responses to provide general educational information to the readership of this website; answers should not be understood to be specific advice intended for any particular individual(s).
- Questions submitted to this column are not guaranteed to receive responses.
- No correspondence takes place.
- No ongoing relationship of any sort (including but not limited to any form of professional relationship) is implied or offered by Dr. Schwartz to people submitting questions.
- Dr. Schwartz, Mental Help Net and CenterSite, LLC make no warranties, express or implied, about the information presented in this column. Dr. Schwartz and Mental Help Net disclaim any and all merchantability or warranty of fitness for a particular purpose or liability in connection with the use or misuse of this service.
- Always consult with your psychotherapist, physician, or psychiatrist first before changing any aspect of your treatment regimen. Do not stop your medication or change the dose of your medication without first consulting with your physician.
You state that you and your partner have stopped relating to one another and that you feel disconnected. I disagree and let me explain why.
People who stop relating and connecting with one another do not argue. The two of you argue constantly and that reflects the fact that the two of you are very connected.
So, why are your arguing so much?While arguments are a good sign of an alive relationship, too much of it is not good for anyone. When it gets to be too much arguing, such as daily quarrels, we have to ask why, what is going on, what is causing the fights?
I do not know the details of your relationship so, in the absence of information, I will make some guesses based on my experiences working with couples in psychotherapy.
Reasons why partners start arguing:
1. Very often, arguing is a replacement for sexual contact. Sexual relationships between lovers is enormously important for emotional and physical reasons. When it is not happening, conflict begins over minor things. This is a way of avoiding dealing with sex because some couples find it difficult to discuss intimacy with one another.
2. If one or both people in a couple are depressed it definitely puts a damper on sex and robs energy from the relationship. Depression often is expressed in angry outbursts, among other symptoms.
3. If a couple is drinking or using drugs, or if one of them is doing this, relations become strained and problems cannot be solved.
4. Money, along with sex, are among the most important causes of conflict in a relationship. Today, with so much unemployment, many families are experiencing emotional stress. Money and employment issues contribute to feelings of depression.
This is a partial list. What I recommend is that the two of you enter marriage or couples therapy with a skillful psychologist or social worker. It is possible that this type of therapy can help break up the log jam in your relationship and help both of you feel much better.
Best of Luck