Congratulations! You are now committed to building a life with your partner. However, in all likelihood, there are questions you have not asked, conversations you’ve put off and so many frustrations you’ve let slide all in the name of love. Relax, this is very common according to relationship experts. After all, love and sacrifice go hand-in-hand, or so they say.
We covered several red flags in our previous love post. Those who are brave enough to learn the nuances of all relationship issues, and how to deal with them, should page through our Couples’ Guide to Relationship Success. It’s more insightful than you think.
Today’s article is a must read for anyone familiar with the weightiness of a long-term relationship. Heck, if you’re serious about fixing or nurturing your love life, regardless of how far along it has come, then this post is definitely for you.
Do you and your lover regularly take a moment to reflect, vent or discuss the trajectory of your relationship? If not, you might want to sit down with your significant other and have an honest heart-to-heart. Better yet, why not head down to your nearest couples’ counselor?
Because a regular check-up with your GP is not an admittance of ill health, nor does routinely servicing your car suggest that it needs fixing. Rather, these are responsible actions done to maintain or extend the longevity of something. The very same should be thought of practices like couples’ therapy and premarital counseling.
In an ideal world, seeking the help of a professional counselor would not be daunting. However, it is also true that the word “therapy” is not without weighty connotations – as if there is something in need of fixing. For this reason, many people feel as though couples’ therapy is an admittance of failure.
Ivanna Colangelo is a Talk Space therapist. In her experience, most couples wait until their relationships grow toxic before finally trying to repair them.
“It is interesting,” she states plainly “how easily and quickly we take such steps to repair or prevent damage to our vehicles. But when it comes to our relationships, we often avoid taking action until the situation has become much more serious.”
Colangelo goes on to assert the following: Many people are uninformed about the benefits of divulging their feelings openly to others. They associate feelings of shame and embarrassment with the very idea of couples therapy, negating the actual sense of reassurance, stability and confidence-building that the practice enforces.
The therapist also asserts that couples spend an average of “six years” clinging onto unhealthy relationship habits, blaming each other and bottling up their thoughts. For some of them, by the time they realise how dysfunctional they’ve become, their attachments to each other are rarely built on love anymore.
What about premarital counseling?
As tradition would have it, many romantic relationships lead up to marriage. Before you tie the knot though, know that the importance of sitting down with a marriage counselor cannot be overstated. Divorce rates are at an all-time high and there are several dozen factors that can push married couples to go their separate ways. With that in mind, one of the smartest investments in your marriage is to find a counselor before standing at the alter.
You both might have been able to hang onto each other throughout the unmarried portion of your relationship, happily ignoring the other person’s worst traits. Rest assured, this will not last long under the weight of a marriage certificate.
If you’ve overlooked talking about the your views of an ideal husband or ideal wife, know that that can only lead to a sense of disappointment and resentment later down the line. The sort of compromises (and there always are compromises) you’d both have to make are a critical conversation to land on as well. All of this and more comes up in premarital counseling, which seeks to send couples out into their marriages with a deeper and more grounded understanding of their feelings and life goals.
Find truer love and devotion through couples’ therapy
Counseling is the smartest choice any couple can make. It’s healthy, and a guided discussion with a trusted professional can have profound effects on the longevity of your love. It can also provide insight into how one person’s behaviour affects the other.
We get it — talking about your anger, frustration and resentments can be terrifying. Yet it is this process of venting that truly lets two people who want to be together move past their issues and later start liking and understanding each other more than ever.