As you reflect back on the early stages of your relationship--ask yourself, "what attracted you to him or her, and how did the relationship develop?" It really may be very difficult to understand how your relationship developed over time. Most importantly the understanding of how you got to where you are today.
All couples experience a range of emotions, good and bad times together, both happy and difficult. Some couples are able to weather difficult moments or misunderstandings and "bounce back" resolving issues relatively easily whereas other couples can become "caught in misunderstandings that evolve into big disputes affecting how fundamentally close, secure, and respected they feel."
It is only in these negative interactions that become a regular pattern of behavior where couples become stuck. Your positions in them become rigid and can become problematic. Over the years, getting stuck and stuck again and again in similar misunderstandings and arguments create resentments and bad feelings. Not being able to resolve these differences can affect your relationship bond, leaving you feeling confused, disappointed and disheartened. Often this is when the question comes up, "What happened to us?"
For some couples it may not be the case that you have been close and now feel you have drifted apart, but rather that you are searching to create a closer bond than you have ever felt before. Regardless of how you came to this point, there is hope to look at your relationship in a new light. Becoming aware of your negative pattern of behaviors are the first task. How conversations go and the emotional chain reactions which occur is often more important than the content of the discussion.
Haven't you noticed that sometimes when you are in conflict and pause, you realize what you are arguing about is not important? Tuning into the way you react to each other and how your difficult conversations evolve and spiral down is most important too. Once the dysfunctional pattern of behavior (actions and reactions) are discovered, the pattern becomes the enemy, not the partner.
Emotionally Focused Couples - Kallos-Lily & Fitzgerald