Relationship stress is harmful to both partner’s mental and physical wellbeing. If there are kids involved, then there is an added element of concern.
We all want connection, safety, and security in relationships. When conflict and emotional distance are more common it can seem as though there is no way to stop the fighting. Add in lack of trust and commitment and the problems can seem insurmountable.
Some signs that you and your partner could benefit from couples counselling are:
- Escalating conflict and nasty communication habits.
- Emotional distance and loneliness.
- Trust and commitment issues.
- Attachment insecurities that are grounded in feelings of low self-worth and fears of abandonment. This can include extreme dependence, which leads to intrusive behaviors. But it can also include extreme independence which can make a partner feel like they’re not a priority.
- Feeling unsupported and emotionally dismissed or difficulty with opening up emotionally.
- Sexual intimacy is practically non-existent, there is a lack of desire, and/or it’s rarely talked about.
- Difficulties with in-laws, friendships, work, or life stressors including health issues.
- Abuse, affairs, and addictions (alcohol, drugs, porn, etc.)
- Differences in parenting styles that lead to conflict.
- Mismanagement and disagreement on finances.
- Things feeling unfair in the division of household chores.
- Untreated anxiety and depression issues that complicate things in the relationship.
- Unequal decision making.
- Difficult childhood upbringings that have emotionally wounded partners and make it difficult to trust your partner or stay engaged when conflict arise
“Our partners do not belong to us; they are only on loan, with an option to renew—or not. Knowing that we can lose them does not have to undermine commitment; rather, it mandates an active engagement that long-term couples often lose. The realization that our loved ones are forever elusive should jolt us out of complacency, in the most positive sense.”
“Individuals at the crossroads of divorce can sometimes feel like they have to choose between two competing options. ‘Do I divorce so that I can find happiness again, or do I stay together for the family’s sake and remain unhappy?’ We think that is a false choice. There is good evidence to suggest that with the proper help and willingness on the part of both spouses, many marriages that might otherwise end in divorce can become healthy, vibrant, and supportive.”
– Hawkins, Fackrell, & Harris, Should I Try to Work it Out?