On top of that, helping our partner move through their issues in life helps us heal our wounds.
What's going on here?
We all create and learn beliefs about the world based on our life experience. In childhood those beliefs that are created are fundamental in how we move about in the world and what we believe about ourselves. To the degree that our needs have not been met and/or we have been hurt in childhood we create beliefs and ways-of-being that get us through the days, but aren't about being all of who we are nor being open-hearted. To the degree that we have been hurt within our nuclear family (and we all have been) the beliefs we create directly effect our partnerships.
Common beliefs we carry from childhood about our spouses/families are that they are going to leave us or smother/control us if we do something wrong or show certain parts of ourselves to them.
We truly believe our beliefs; we may know that we are each of equal value to each other but believe we are a loser with no hope of success (for example).
These beliefs influence who we date and marry. These beliefs mold how we relate in our relationship and how we interpret our partner.
Couples that come to see me know that they need to have a better relationship, know that it can happen, but don't know how to do it mostly because they don't truly believe that a fully alive and intimate relationship is possible in their life.
As each partner shares his/her truth, pain and desires - often for a first time - intimacy is already beginning to happen in that moment AND abandonment or controlling didn't happen (remember we are in MY office). That begins to chip away at the belief right there; one event at a time.
Added to that when we see our partner consciously intending to change and support us that begins to co-create a new relationship while loosening up the beliefs that were being rigidly applied to all people at all time.
Obviously, this takes time, is not a linear process (human processes rarely are) and each couple has specific complications, however transformation can happen for each individual and every couple.