Couples therapy is becoming a trend these days. Are you one looking for marriage counselling? If you are unhappy with your husband and keep thinking “should I get divorced?”, you need some advice. Ending a marriage is not easy. However, when it’s time for divorce, you or people close to you will see signs you are headed for a divorce.
What should you do if you want your marriage to work again? Can something be done before spending time and money on couple’s therapy or divorce lawyers? Do marriage therapists do something unusual so that your marriage would work like a magic wand? You probably know the answers to all the questions. Therapy comes from licensed practitioners who have seen problems similar to yours for quite sometime. They have been trained to address differences in married couples and how to understand them and help them solve in a structured and non-biased way. Couples therapists work as arbitraries between you and your spouse. They hear your problems with an open mind and based on what you tell and how your partner reacts to it. Then these marriage councelors formulate a plan for the two of you to work together in marriage to keep it alive.
As much as these therapists are needed when the differences between the couple go to an extreme, our suggestion is, do not go to the counselor straight away. Fights in marriages are common. It just means that two individuals are different and you need to respect each other’s opinion. You may strongly feel that your partner is incorrect, but they have a right to an opinion. If you and your partner are ready to work out your marriage, do that. Try to make some changes in your relationship and see if you find anything improving. Trust me, the couple’s therapist would do the same. It’s up to you if you want to spend sometime trying them out yourself, or you would like to spend that money and time and eventually do it.
Try this before you go for couples therapy:
Here is what we suggest as some key changes that need to be brought about before you go to the marriage counselor for couples therapy. Succeeding in these is largely dependent on your and your partner’s willingness to follow them.
1. Be Yourself
When you and your partner met each other, you liked each other for who you were. You came in this sacred bond of marriage and then in the process, you somehow started becoming what you thought your significant other wants you to be. You started changing the person who they loved.
Getting married does not mean you have to give up your personality. You can imbibe good habits and let go bad ones. But you cannot change the person who you are. If your partner is demanding those changes, you would not be happy to be someone else. You need to be comfortable with who you are. If you are changing your dreams, passions and goals to fulfil your partner’s desire, then its not worth it, because they don’t love the person you are.
Take away: Be yourself
2. Sex in Marriage
People think that love is eternal and that sex is only bodily. If your partner wants ONLY sex from you, perhaps they don’t love you as much. However, sex is an inseparable part of any intimate relation. It keeps everything fresh, exciting and thrilling. If you want to avoid going to marriage counselor, try spicing up your bedroom. Get closer to your partner and do some fun new things. Experimenting is always interesting and fun in the bedroom. Try that out.
Take away: Spice things up in bedroom.
3. Be ready for compromises
Any relationship is based on the fundamental of compromise. Its two-people coming together and compromising on various things to make the relation work. It is obvious to have difference of opinions. If there were no differences, then God probably made the two of you exactly the same, or one person in the relationship is giving away way too much just to make it work. Compromises need to be mutual. They should take turns. If that’s not the situation, then its sacrificing and not compromising. Understand that you and your partner are two different individuals each with a thought and mind of your own. At times differences, will arise, and when such a time comes, both of you should sort for compromise to make things work.
Take away: Compromise is inevitable
4. Stay positive
Each one of us have imperfection. We also have something good, something unique and something worth appreciating. See the good in your partner. Remember the age-old adage of seeing a half-filled glass of water as “half full” vs “half empty”. Positive people will always say that the glass is “half full”. Negative people will refer the same as “half empty”. Find the good qualities and appreciate them. No one likes being called out all the time. Appreciate the goodness and stay positive.
Take away: Stay positive
5. Be grateful
Attitude without gratitude is not welcoming for anyone. Be thankful for the relationship you have. A lot of times we take people around us for granted. This includes the people we love the most and people who love us the most. Tender expressions of love and care will show how thankful you are for the person being in your life. It could be a simple thing of gifting flowers or gifts or cute little cards. Do not feel affection is something awkward or embarrassing. It always kindles the flame of true love and passion.
Take away: Be grateful for the loved ones around you
Couples fight. YES! Its well known and happens in almost ALL homes. When there is a fight, do not cross that line of respect. Your discussions and arguments have to be shared in a way that they don’t become detrimental to your relation. If at all you go for couples’ therapy, this is one thing that will be gauged after love in the relation. Do you respect each other? If there is no respect, there cannot be any other feeling left in the relation. Maintain that respect for each other. You can’t hamper that. Replace the feelings of hostility with fun activity and good humor.
Take away: Respect who they are
7. Keep self control
There would be times when you want to scream out loud and tell your partner how much you hate him or her. Times like this, its important to keep self control and have a voice that does not depict you like an animal. Differences are fine. You have to sort them all. We have seen couples physically assault each other and throw things around in the house. That is not acceptable.
Take away: Don’t lose self-control
Open communication is often under-estimated. Sitting across the table and talking about fears, hopes, expectations, concerns are so very important. This is one other primary thing that the marriage counselor will ask you. Have you talked to each other about your problems? Why do you think the marriage is not working? Communication is so important in all walks of like. I remember a multinational company HR promoted – Sit and Talk, slogan like nothing else. And surprisingly, it works.
Take away: Communication is key
9. Value honesty
Being honest in the relation is important. If you want things to work, be honest. That’s how things are going to work in long term. Be honest about the situation and be honest about how your partner cares for you. At times, we know that the fault is ours but we tend to overlook or blame the partner. Be honest. If you don’t accept things, its very difficult to fix them.
Take away: Honesty is the integral part in a relation
10. Share responsibilities
Another big reason for not getting along in marriages is when one partner has the burden of responsibilities. Often one person picks up more workload and gradually it becomes a tendency of the other partner to keep on loading the partner with more responsibilities. Workload needs to be balanced. Working at home and taking care of the kids is equally stressful as working in a large corporate.
Take away: Share responsibilities in the house and outside.
11. Third person
At times, misunderstandings come due to a third person in the marriage. This third person could be a family member or a friend or anyone else. Two people end up having an argument for a third person who is unaware of these advancements. If your partner has been cheating on you with ex or someone else, have a dialogue. It may be a misunderstanding.
Take away: Don’t let a third person get between the two
12. Ditch the ego
The big ego a lot of times is the reason why people end up separating. No one wants to give up their egos. For things to calm down and work together, someone has to let go of their egos. Relationships do not work if egos take utmost priority. Be kind and admit mistakes. Don’t let insignificant things bring you to the point of questioning yourself – is it time for divorce?
Take away: Egos are harmful
These are some of the steps you can follow between the two of you to resolve your differences before meeting the couples therapist. You will definetly see results if you two make honest attempts. Divorce should not be the option. It is a way to exit. Let the love between the two of you revive your relation. Wish you good luck and hope everything works out for the best.
Would love to hear your views on this issue?