Marriage and Relational Issues
Signs of Problems-Is Counseling the Answer
There tends to be two main types of people who come in with marital or relationship issues. Both tend to wait too long before they enter into counseling. The first is the type that tend to be very unhappy and have such resentment that they many times feel as though they don’t have any other choice but to divorce. They tend to not voice their unhappiness, yet all the while the resentment is building and building, yet they continue to go with the flow, hoping that something will change, and the problems will be instantly solved. The second type are those who “try” with everything they have to make the marriage work before they leave. These people are problem solvers who feel they owe it to the marriage to try to find solutions to the problems before they throw in the towel. This type, sometimes actually finds solutions to their problems, yet most of the time they either don’t find all the skills they desperately need, their partner is unwilling to “buy” into their new found solutions, or the emotional connection that is needed to work through the full implementation of the solutions between the couple has taken such a beating that working the lution through may too difficult for them.
The one thing that both of these types generally have in common is that they tend to rarely go to marriage counseling. In my experience, I’ve talked to very few people who went to marriage counseling before they had thought seriously about divorce first. In other words they didn’t really give their marriage a fair chance by working with a professional early on in the game.
Maintaining a marriage and solving problems within the marriage takes skills.These are generally relationship skills that few of us come naturally equipped with. We may think we are doing all we can to solve the problems in a marriage but, a marriage counselor can be of great benefit in teaching us new ways of solving problems and getting our needs met.
Below is a list how marriage counseling can benefit you:
- You will learn how to resolve conflict in a healthy manner. In marriage counseling you will learn communication skills that will help you not only listen to your spouse but, to also process what your spouse is saying.
- You will learn how to state your needs clearly and openly without resentment or anger.
- You will learn how to be assertive without being offensive. Both spouses need to be able to talk about their issues without fear of hurting the other spouse. In marriage counseling you will learn that you can get what you need without having to make demands and engage in conflict.
- You will learn to process and work through unresolved issues. Marriage counseling offers a safe environment for expressing any unhappiness you feel. Getting your feelings out into the open with the help of a trained professional may be all you need. You may find that your spouse is more than willing to work together to solve the problems in the marriage. You may also find that your spouse is unwilling to do the work. If so, you are then free to leave the marriage without any guilt because you have given it your best shot.
- You will develop a deeper understanding of who your spouse is and what his/her needs are. Better yet, you will learn more deeply who you are and what your needs are. You may actually end up finding that those needs can be met inside the marriage.
If you are not sure whether or not your marriage is in trouble, then you might consider the following questions or conditions. If some of these situations exist in your relationship then you may want to seriously consider marital/relational counseling.
- Are you to the point that your spouse just can’t do anything right, does everything they do get under your skin? Or maybe you can’t seem to do anything right for your spouse and that makes you extremely frustrated.
- Does everything or nearly everything you talk about seem to lead to an argument?
- Are you tired of the fighting, so tired you can’t muster of the energy to even engage anymore?
- Has the love you felt in the past been replaced by resentment?
- Would you rather be anywhere than with your spouse?
- When you and your spouse are together do you find you have nothing to talk about or that you have little interest in talking to him/her?
- Is intimacy in your relationship not happening, happening infrequently or does simply the idea of being intimate with your spouse cause you to shudder?
- Are you having an affair or thinking about having an affair?
- You find yourself doing the opposite of what your spouse needs just to spite him/her?
- Are thoughts of divorce running through your mind on a regular basis?
- You are withdrawing from one another or use the eye roll a great deal.
- When you do fight with your spouse, one or the other doesn’t fight fair.
- There is a lot of nitpicking going on between the two of you.
- You no longer seem to have fun together.
- You have little to nothing nice to say to one another.
- You don't talk with one another about your problems.
- You don't respect one another or you nag one another.
- You can't agree on goals and values.
- You don't trust one another and generally feel suspicious about your spouse.
- One of you, or both, has been unfaithful.
- Teasing has become hurtful.
- Your spouse tries to isolate you from your family and friends.
- You are happier when your spouse is away from home for an afternoon, a meeting, or for a business trip.
- You realize that there is emotional and/or physical abuse in your marriage.
If any of these items are happening in your relationship don't wait...seek professional help and call us today at 913-636-5657!