Shall we separate or keep working through our issues?
Major life decisions need to be made without acting on heightened emotions. These decisions may well include making many changes, which for some couples mean one will be no longer living as a family and therefore will have many consequences.
So how does one find the energy and time to remain calm and patient during what can feel like 'turbulence'. How can one make a decision when you feel like you are surrounded in 'fog'? Nothing seems clear and the decision to go it alone only creates further anxiety and panic.
Many couples feel exhausted by the constant 'circling in their heads' trying to work out what to do. It's almost impossible to function at work when one is immersed in this decision. By the time many people attend counselling they may already be separated or very near to separating, yet cling on, understandably, to the hope they may be able to fix their issues. When one invests so much time into a relationship when does one know how much more time to invest?
One of the main questions couples ask is 'can I rekindle the spark that's gone?' I love him/her but I am not in love with him/her. In most cases one is saying that the physical attraction they had for their partner has diminished. They may further express feelings like 'he/she makes me feel unattractive, unloved, abandoned, isolated'. They further may add 'since we had our baby, things have changed'. She may say 'he makes me feel I am in this alone; he doesn't help me since we had the baby.' These are just some examples of how both people have their own feelings and perceptions.
Sometimes both couples are really saying the same thing. They both are feeling unloved and both are aware of the shift in their relationship since having their baby. If this is the case then, through counselling and clear communication, it is possible for couples working through their issues to remain in their relationships. If the couple can have some time together (that's if parents or a friend may be able to look after the baby) then I honestly believe it is possible to get back on the same 'page' I know at times some people say 'I just want a hug'.
However, for couples where resentment has built up over the years being likened to a wide river between them, it can be more challenging. For those already apart but trying to save their relationship, one has the added pressure to 'fix it quickly'. This may be due to financial issues and rentals on properties. Patience may be running out on the part of the partner in rented accommodation and the couple may get to being 'stuck' in the dance of anger.
Another issue, of course, is when through a separation or break, other people may become involved in the person's life. Once one is working with the 'Facebook friend and followers', the secret texts and photos on Instagram, it causes further complications.
In previous writings, I have always said one cannot compare the sexy lady wearing very little sending the man flattering messages, or the handsome man telling you 'I understand you' to a relationship one has had for years. This is simply not a fair comparison. This is of course 'fantasy' and doesn't compare to those going through tough times in a relationship. Fantasy has a place to simply be fantasy. Reality is that life is tough and relationships need to be worked on to stay 'alive'. Texting other females/males doesn't help. This just complicates and gets in the way of the couples relationship. Being side tracked is not going to resolve the relationship problem.
So before one cuts the cord on the relationship and the family life you have created, pause a little, try and look at the wider lens. Consider the reality of losing your home, your partner that was once your soul mate, the family unit you had so wanted, the financial aspects that also will affect your lives. I know one hears people say that a house is just bricks and mortar but I strongly disagree. I think of a house as a home and having gone through a divorce myself, bringing up my two children in a rented property whilst the house was being sold was definitely difficult and I really missed my home, my garden, and the familiarity of simply the street I lived in. It's like all your security is taken from you. The transitional period is not easy and one need energy to deal with emotional changes. Sometimes, however, one has to leave....... and we all have our boundaries. We are all unique.
If after careful consideration, you feel the relationship has broken down then the couple need to move on as best one can. Perhaps counselling may be an option during this difficult period of time. It offers a couple a safe place to look at the wider picture and is kept private from the influence of family and friends.