Happy New Year with your partner?
A new year, a new start. That's usually the expectation, the intention. But what if a new brings more of the same? Lack of clarity in your relationship, uncertainty about where you're both going - and in the same direction? Or change means potential endings and separation?
People often don't communicate for years, and then take action to 'save' a marriage or partnership when it's crumbling and almost too late. It may even be too late.
If one or both of you don't know what the other person thinks, feels and doesn't understand changes in behaviour - it's time to talk. And if you can't talk to each other, then find a therapist who can help you to:
- Understand what is going wrong.
- Share your side of things and better understand your possibly changed needs.
- Better understand your partner's behaviours, attitudes and their changed needs from when you met.
Communication is often a huge problem in a relationship - not wanting to hurt feelings or step on toes, wanting to make things better but not sure how to do it because you don't know the problems!
We all have different communication styles and sometimes, something that simple (when you know about it!) can create untold misery and problems. When you do understand it better, then you can take steps to improve things, try harder and know what you are trying to do. You can look for solutions when you know what the problem is.
If there are things being hidden, then talking about it might not save the marriage or partnership, but it will save a lot of stress, anxiety and upset. Any loss is hard to bear but putting off those changes doesn't help either and wastes a lot of time and energy that could be spent on creating happiness in a new direction.
Couples counselling doesn't always 'save the day' but it saves time, heartache and pain day after day, week after week.
Try putting time aside once a week to talk to each other. Start by talking about your week at work and home, feelings going on for you, about the house and children if that feels safer to start with - not instead of talking about your feelings and the relationship but building up to it slowly. Make it clear this is the aim, this is what is going to happen or again, it becomes one sided if the other person has no idea about what you want and need, what you think and feel!
Once you decided you 'need to talk' to each other, it will help you to find the time and say the words you need to say. Counsellors help with this because they can see from the outside in, they have training to help them understand the psychology and issues that can cause problems or enhance relationships and they can help you to talk to each other in your own words - each to their own!
Make the time. Take small steps. Be honest with yourself and your partner about what needs to change and what is really happening, even if it's just for you that things have changed.
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