But sometimes it can seem that the longer we are with someone, the more hurdles we come up against and the further we move in opposite directions.Before too long, it becomes all too easy for outside sources of stress to pervade our happy bubble, and what were initially resolvable quarrels become potential deal-breakers.
Tension within a partnership can arise due to a multitude of factors. Some can be external – such as the loss of a job or the illness of a loved one, whereas others can come about due to problems within the union itself – for example, conflicting feelings about having children, or one or more partner being unfaithful.
Sometimes a conflict can seem small at first, so we brush it under the carpet in the hope that it won’t resurface. But more often than not, issues that go unaddressed will manifest themselves subtly in the behaviour of both parties and can eventually cause irreparable damage.
You and your partner may even be fighting for reasons unknown to you both. Perhaps there is a strain on your relationship that’s causing you to argue, but you don’t know what it is? Talking to someone about your troubles may help you uncover the reasons why you’re struggling.
Whether you’ve been in a relationship with your partner for a matter of months, years or decades, no doubt you’ll be faced with conflict from time to time. But even if things are peachy, even the healthiest of couples can benefit from a regular sounding board for their thoughts and feelings.
Most of us will go to friends and family when we need to talk about our problems. But advice from those closes to us can sometimes seem biased or indicative of an ulterior motive – even if it’s as innocent as wanting to spend more time with you.
Turning to loved ones when you’ve had an argument with your significant other could also damage their relationship. Having to explain to your mother or sister that your partner has been unfaithful, for example, can paint them as the bad guy, when in actual fact the circumstances from which infidelity occurs are often more complicated than that.
If you wish to keep your problems private but still feel the need to share them, consulting a licensed relationship or marriage therapist might be the answer. An impartial listener can be the key to getting to the route of a relationship problem and untangle the weeds grown over your previously greener pastures.
Whether it’s as simple as learning to appreciate one another again by spending more time as a couple, or as complex as years of undue resentment, distrust or sexual differences, a licensed therapist will be able to help you get back to the roots from which your partnership first flourished.
Therapists can either see you each on a one-to-one basis, or as a couple, and will offer each of you the chance to speak freely without interruption. From there, they will be able to help you address the root of the problem, as well as offering constructive advice on how you can move forwards together.
You and your partner will usually be given the option of attending a private therapy room, or being counselled in the comfort and safety of your own home.
Your session will be undertaken by a qualified therapist, specialising in couple’s therapy. Most practitioners employ a range of approaches to find the best fit for each patient. But you don’t need to feel daunted – mostly they will just want to sit and chat with you and your spouse and help you work together to resolve your issues.