How to tell if you need marriage counseling
The first signs of the growing distance may show up when you prefer texting over talking. You spouse’s needs move from the top of the priority list to the middle or the end. The 20 minutes of dining table time may seem to stretch eternally. A few minutes of friendly conversation always ends in the conflict of ideas, goals, preferences, and tastes. Slowly but surely you may start avoiding each other, unless there is an urgent situation when a conversation becomes inevitable. Moments of physical intimacy start fading and stay only in your memory. Symptoms of irritation, resentment, restlessness, and discontentment start growing.
Hypersensitivity – Triggering Points
Analyzing the mistakes of your spouse becomes the top priority in your relationship. You wish the other person to be more understanding; loving, caring, and sacrificing (just like you). You never agree to disagree on the most trivial issues.
You always wish your wife could listen and understand you, rather than imposing her obsolete ideas onto your mind. But you may forget she is feeling the same way about you. Frequent conflicts about poor listening and understanding erupt between you. Sometimes you may try to avoid the argument by going into the silent mode. But the cold-war continues in your mind and heart. A small conflict of egos can trigger the eruptions again. You start tolerating each other than trying to understand.
The weekend outings and vacations seem to be too expensive and waste of precious time. You’d rather spend all the time on your projects and assignments than going out. Once in a blue-moon, you may agree for a “date”. But you promptly forget the commitment and keep your spouse waiting at the restaurant or the cinema hall. What follows, is a nothing less than a tornado that could cause maximum damage to your relations.
Wedding anniversary, Valentine’s Day, lover’s day, and the national spouse day remain only on the calendar or your personal diary. You hardly find time to greet and gift each other on many other important days. You feel your spouse has transformed into an insensitive and selfish person overnight. Unfortunately, your spouse has the same list of complaints on you.
You wish your spouse could be more generous when it comes to opening the wallet while spending for family needs. S/he always insists on you to pay for the pending bills. The idea of my money and your money grows stronger with each passing day of the marriage. You may feel your spouse is taking your hard work for granted.
There could be many other triggering points of hypersensitivity that could drive your marriage to the edge force you to separate. The ultimate reality is that you have let your ego bloat too much for your spouse to tolerate. Well, it could be the other way also.
Are You Still in Love
In spite of all the conflicts, you may still love your spouse and want the relation to get better. The first step is to lower your guard (self respect, pride, ego or whatever you may call it) and talk to your spouse. Listen without bias and prejudice. Make a list of to-do tasks and prioritize your spouse’s needs and wants. Spend more quality time with each other. Take a break from your work and go out on a vacation. You may rediscover that hidden love for each other. Do it more than once until you feel enough is done.
Need for Counseling
Then you sit back and ask yourself a simple and straight question. “Do I want my to continue and get better?” You may ask the same question to your spouse and know what s/he wants. If the answer is anything other than a “NO”, you will need marriage counseling.
Saying No may not necessarily mean a breakup. You can find many couples who start resenting each other so much that they feel separation is the only solution. But deep within their hearts they wish the other person should feel sorry and compromise.
Marriage Counseling Benefits
Marriage counseling is the psychological therapy which helps in identifying the cracks in your relations and finds long lasting solutions that work.
The marriage counselor plays a neutral role between the two of you. The initial consultations may be done individually to make the expert understand your personality and traits. He may not ask you anything about your relations or the problems. His aim is to study both of you as individuals and note your strengths and limitations.
Seeds of Change
The marriage counselor sows the seeds of change in your mind and heart that sprout into tender saplings. Initially, you may feel offended and walking away from the sessions. It takes patience and persistence for the first few days to sit and listen to what the expert says.
The first seed of change is in the attitude. The therapist can root out the negative elements and direct the growing sprouts to the direction of light. Slowly but surely, both of you start responding to the therapy within a few days. The only criterion is an open mind and a loving heart.
The therapist will show you how to stop blaming each other and owning the responsibility of actions. Slowly he will teach you how to find the replicas of your own thoughts in your spouse. You may not speak the same “language” overnight. But you start responding to your spouse.
The points of negation will start reducing consistently, once you start attending the marriage counseling sessions. You agree to disagree on several aspects, and learn how to respect your spouse’s opinions. Your discussions over the dining table may not be romantic rendezvous always. But at least they cease to be the battlegrounds of ego.
Very soon, the waves of harmony flowing between you and your spouse can be felt and experienced. The relationship gets restored to the level of normalcy. You willingness is the key that can open the toughest lock of resentment suspicion.
Living Well Counselling Services Inc.
4803 Centre Street Northwest #4,
Calgary, AB T2E 2Z6