Couples in Crisis

Very few people escape painful relationship issues in their lives. Death, serious injury, financial issues...all are very real issues in today’s society that can cause pressure on a relationship. Pressures also exist within the relationship over fidelity, intimacy and valuing, and indeed if one or both partners is feeling uncertain about these things this can cause a pressure point on the relationship.

A breakdown in communication is one of the first signs that things are not going well. Things have changed since you shared each part of your life; now you are worried that your partner might see it as criticism, or that they won’t react in the way you expect. Slowly and surely this leads to a distancing of the partners; it’s a danger that needs attention very quickly.

In this weakened state relationships find it hard to weather the storms and major issues that come along. These are able to hurt us and question the relationship at a time the communication has broken down. It may be something devastating to the relationship, like an affair or some other act that causes betrayal.

Yet it is possible to find a way forward from these problems even though, when in the middle of it, all hope seems lost. The key step is to talk to each other. Sometimes that will take a professional such as a minister, a counsellor or similar. They can help to provide a key to good communication by helping both partners to hear and be heard, introducing a framework which is less about guilt and blame and more about understanding what your impact has on the relationship.

Of course, prevention is better than cure; so, if you recognise some things that you are unhappy about in your relationship, perhaps it is time to address them. If you find that you don’t want to address them, ask yourself - why? Is it that perhaps you're scared of what you might find and you are happier to choose to be uneasy in your relationship? Perhaps you too could do with help to sort it before a crisis hits.

Sometimes it will be impossible to repair a relationship, but equally many who have thought their relationship over have found that, although they would not choose to have the crisis, their relationship is stronger for it.

The process of repairing their relationship has forced them to face many of the demons which lay hidden. It allowed them to speak many of the unsaid concerns; it made them communicate more openly and honestly than they had done in years (or perhaps ever).

Finally, remember the lesson that these people have learned; that a relationship is not a static thing. It is an emotional process that changes and grows, so you need to keep working at it. Communicating, shared interests and experiences - all of these help cement the love and attraction between partners.

Counselling Directory is not responsible for the articles published by members. The views expressed are those of the member who wrote the article.

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Glasgow, G46

Written by Graeme Orr

Glasgow, G46

I am an Accredited Member of BACP offering counselling for both individuals and couples on the Southside of Glasgow. You may be struggling to cope with difficult thoughts or feelings. It can feel a very lonely place, with nowhere to turn. Problems happen to us all and at any time in our lives. If y...

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