Do you sometimes wonder if you married the wrong person? Have you asked yourself: How could I have been so clueless? Why didn’t I listen to my friends (or my mother) who warned me? What was I attracted to, anyway? When the difficult stage of a relationship hits, people think they should…
- change their partner (nag, beg, manipulate, demand, threaten)
- stay in an unhappy marriage and get fulfillment elsewhere OR
Couples therapy offers a third option: to guide you through this difficult, but expected, stage so you grow and mature as individuals and as a couple. It’s a chance to work through these difficulties, to re-create the relationship so you’re both better at giving and receiving love and to find new and better ways to communicate.
People commonly think one was either lucky/smart and chose a ‘good partner’ or one was unlucky/stupid and chose a ‘bad partner.’ Turns out it’s way more nuanced (and unconscious) than that! The reality is that we were drawn to our spouse because they were at the same level of development we were back then. We’re supposed to not only love, but also be in conflict with this person because the conflict points to the areas we most need to work on. Oh, why aren’t we told to expect this challenging stage BEFORE walking down the aisle!
So, you’re in this difficult stage that all relationships get to – what do you do now?
- Take good care of your body with exercise and enough sleep and healthy food – you’re not the greatest spouse, either, when you’re less than healthy.
- Connect with a therapist (your former one or get started now) – you need support and guidance to move forward.
- Make time for sex and fun as a couple – it will help you weather this difficult stage and remind you why you got together in the first place.
- Become curious about your role in the relationship – how do you act out that adds to the conflict or distance between you two?
- Get a new perspective – realize that the conflicts are an opportunity to learn and grow.
- Refresh your communication tools – it’s likely they’ve gotten sloppy after months or years with the same person.
Maintaining a happy, healthy long-term relationship can be so difficult with all the pressures and challenges in today’s fast-paced world. Maybe you’ve tried counseling before with little to no results. Maybe you ended up more frustrated or things improved a little, but only temporarily. The therapists at Couples Therapy Center of NJ can help. We’re all specialists in the area of intimate relationships. We can give you the support, new perspective, and tools you need to have more love and excitement in your relationship. Can’t get your partner to come in with you? No problem! We see individuals, too. Call us at 908-246-3074 or email GetSupport@CouplesTherapyCenterOfNJ.com now to schedule your appointment. Don’t wait any longer. Start making positive changes today.