Can you say it with flowers?
On Valentine’s Day we celebrate all things romantic. Many cards and roses will be purchased to say ‘I love you.’ It may be the only time in a year that a couple say those words and even then it is symbolic. This is at the heart of many relationship problems; the inability to communicate effectively.
There is a malaise that sets into many relationships; one where reality creeps in and our attention is diverted to our work, or children, housework, chores money and so forth. At the same time, the time that we spend on our relationship falls. We begin to assume that we know how our partner will feel about a subject. Perhaps we take a big decision without consulting them; perhaps our focus switches outside of our relationship and the relationship suffers as a result. However, so often we find it easier to repress our feelings, perhaps through fatigue, or perhaps through expectation that our partner should be different.
This lack of communication can leave partners alone and isolated. The gap that opens causes more problems as one or both of you feel that you are drifting apart. It is in this space that alcohol, affairs etc. can creep in. There is a solution to this state of affairs, but it requires that you both recognise and act on the problem.
Talking about the problems is the first and most important stage. Each relationship is different but often the problems have got to a stage where for both it is very difficult to sort the problems out for yourselves and any discussion quickly breaks down into a fight. A relationship counsellor can help with this.
They will help you to look at the problem and start to talk about the issues in an honest open way. The process is less about assigning blame and more about both partners accepting responsibility for themselves and the part that they play in the relationship. There is no doubt that this can be a difficult process, because it requires that you look very carefully at what you are actually offering the relationship. At the basic level partners should be able to be vulnerable with each other and be able to expect support rely on each other’s strengths and support their weaknesses. In essence, don’t make assumptions about each other but make time to connect and know how they feel.
The author Emily Kimbrough once penned “Remember, we all stumble, every one of us. That’s why it’s a comfort to go hand in hand”. This is the power of a good relationship; so the next time you find yourself in a florist or in front of a row of cards, consider instead delivering the message in person and say to you partner “I love you”.
Counselling Directory is not responsible for the articles published by members. The views expressed are those of the member who wrote the article.