Couples - Have you lost your spark?
Marriage is a bumpy road. This is what studies on happy couples show.
Problems, tensions and difficult moments are common factors to every relationship; experts say that a healthy level of conflict is the base for a mature and solid rapport. The key is to solve problems with complicity, alliance and respect for the partner.
If this goes missing, then couples are unhappy. But how to know if you're just going through a bad patch or if you should walk away?
Some people might suddenly feel that something cracked; others may just feel exhausted after a long time in a drained marriage.
In both cases, there are signalsthat indicate to a person when there is something wrong in the relationship. The very first one is intoleranceto the partner. Do you feel intolerant to your partner in many situations, from the smallest to the most important things? You can't stand how he/she eats, speaks, wears? If so, love and passion are not there anymore, and your partner might not be Mr/Mrs Right.
When you go through a temporary crisis, you don't usually stop to plan your future. If you realise that you are not willing to plan and build your relationship anymore, it is another signal that, again, you might be with the wrong person.
This is also true when couples don't understand each other anymore; when they stop fighting to find a solution or a compromise. When you don't invest time and energy to fight for something you don't believe in anymore. When you don't miss your partner; you don't care if he/she does not spend much time with you, you are comfortable just going out with friends. Perhaps you now look at other men or women with a new interest. Furthermore, you feel lighterwhen you are not with your partner.
Sex is another important mark: some people might lose their sexual desire for the partner when they start to doubt the relationship.
If these signals happen in difficult moments, such as financial/work problems, grief, sickness, or if they happen in happy but highly stressful life moments such as getting married or having a baby, then the crisis can be temporary and you can patch your relationship up.
Otherwise, if you search deep down, you probably already know that your partner is just not the right one. What happens next, it's up to you.
Therapy can guide you to understand what you really want. A person might realise that he/she wants to walk away but doesn't know how to do it; another one might find out that he/she just can't continue with the relationship, or instead that he/she is not ready to leave just yet.
Whatever people want, therapy can support them in their decisions, help them raise awareness and take on their choices.
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