Even long-time couples can wind up in oppressive-feeling situations. Both people seek relief from their partner as they grow frustrated. Exhaustion and feeling drained traps them in a system of frustration.
Does the Relationship Feel Broken or Even Doomed?
Some couples tough out challenging situations, hoping they’ll improve on their own. Sometimes they do. They often don’t. When that happens people often go from overwhelmed and exhausted to angry and resentful.
The relationship might even feel doomed once couples reach this stage. It feels so broken they have to break up. However, even “broken” relationships are often salvageable.
There’s Still Hope Even If You’re Overwhelmed
As a couples counselor I see possibilities. A couple may not know how to change how they relate to one another. Awareness can help soften and improve their approach. Unfortunately some couples just can’t seem to find hope that they could feel better. They remember the good times when they fell in love and just can’t fathom how to get back to that.
Some couples come in for counseling with a negative outlook. I still feel hopeful for them, because therapy is a step towards preserving and improving their relationship.
During the first session I help the couple find their way back to something meaningful between them again. I begin by helping couples understand their current situation. Recognizing how their behavior impacts their partner gives them perspective. It helps them understand their hopelessness and why their partner gets upset.
Awareness and Small Changes Can Make a Big Difference
That awareness helps them change their behavior. Everyone gets clued in on how their behavior affects one another, usually for the better. They begin to understand that when their partner feels good, they feel good. And that’s what everyone wants: to feel better.
Understanding a situation’s dynamics is a lot like stepping outside the system and looking in. Those observations help energize couples. The possibilities of how things could change with a few alterations are exciting. It can even be exhilarating understanding the way out of a system that wasn’t working.
The good news is that couples counseling works. If two people are willing to take a step toward being happier together, counseling will work. If people still blame their partner for making them feel miserable, counseling will not. Loving your mate starts with you, not your partner.
Develop Better Communication Patterns to Escape the Relationship Rut
Read a Book About Making Relationships Work
Learn more about how to communicate with your spouse by reading Linda’s book, Safe. Happy. Loved. Simple Skills for Your Relationship. It has conflict resolution strategies, tips for feeling heard, and suggestions on how to express your love and celebrate your relationship. Give it a read.
Get Couples Counseling
Come in for couples counseling. Couples counseling can help you and your loved one get the most out of your relationship. It'll equip you with coping strategies and tools for communication that can help you argue less and love more.