When we grow up in environments that compromised our emotional growth, we often unconsciously seek out people, usually in intimate relationships but also in friendships, who will reenact with us that unhealthy dynamic in an attempt to "make it right." For example, if I could never please my mother and I believed it was my responsibility (and what child wouldn't?), I will find a partner who will continue to find fault with me as I keep trying to figure out how to make him/her happy. Once I can acknowledge that my mother's unhappiness had nothing to do with me, I no longer need to make it right. This sounds so simple, but it in fact requires hard work, often encompassing mourning, developing compassion, and ultimately making new meaning of our past and current relationships.
Couples' therapy can help identify unhealthy dynamics and interrupt them. Couples can learn to
Identify their relational needs
Assess whether the need is from here-and-now or stems from unmet needs from childhood
Learn what kind of help is appropriate to ask for and safe ways to do so
Increase safety with vulnerability.
Couples therapy can also be extremely useful when one partner is in recovery for any kind of addictive behavior. Being in recovery changes the relationship dynamic and this change can be difficult and scary for the non-addicted partner.