Can I save my relationship?
Written by listed counsellor/psychotherapist: Graeme Orr MBACP(Accred), UKRCP Reg. Ind. Counsellor
20th November, 20120 Comments
“I can’t promise you a perfect relationship, but what I can promise you is that as long as we’re trying I’m staying” this often quoted saying has more than a pearl of wisdom within.
Perhaps your relationship is in crisis. Maybe you feel the only thing you agree about is how often you fight! Perhaps you feel that you and your partner seem to have moved further apart and that you just don’t know the person in the relationship. You are not alone. Therapists often hear that “X isn’t listening” or “Y doesn’t understand me”. There is a real sense of loss in this that partners are talking to each other, but neither is hearing and acknowledging the other.
The real difficulty is that couples can become entrenched in a position where they feel that they have to defend themselves and it becomes a blame game. It makes sense therefore when discussing these jugular issues, it is important for both of your to stick with your own feelings and emotions rather than accuse or tell the other person what they are doing wrong
It is important to realise that relationships can be pulled back from quite serious problems. Although it will take hard work and quite possibly be hard going and uncomfortable. Many couples find that a neutral non-judging counsellor can really help, by offering a fresh perspective and a safe space in which to communicate.
Yet before you start you and your partner need to check that you want the relationship to succeed. Do you both feel that you want the relationship and are prepared to work for it? Do you both fully understand that there will be difficult parts where the issue might be very uncomfortable for you? Finally are you willing to follow through and make the changes that will make the difference?
If you are willing to work at your relationship you can make a difference. It may be stating the obvious but you and your partner will have to make changes and that can be difficult, but these should be changes that you both agree with. Neither of you should try the other as it can come over as judgement; again talk about how behaviour makes you feel and try to collaboratively work toward something that will work for both of you. At the same time you should be open to criticism yourself perhaps there are ways in which you can change to help your relationship.
Communication is the key here, the first step to solving your problems is to have them out in the open and really talk through the issue. Don’t hide from it, be prepared to change your own actions as well as ask for changes in their behaviour.
As you begin to work through the problems, you also need to think about building the trust, through shared experiences, go on a date, have dinner and talk without the TV on even walk the dog together. It’s about shared time together.
Many have taken on the challenge of working the problems from their relationship and using resources like counselling have made the difference for them.
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