Couples find that problems arise in their relationship for all kinds of reasons. You may have faced recent and sudden difficulties or events, or there may be issues that you’ve been struggling with for some time. There may have been life changes that have had a significant impact on you.
Some stressful events could include: having a child; suffering bereavement; coping with financial worries; managing redundancy; illness or disability, for yourself or someone you love; infidelity; violent or destructive behaviour; poor communication and different values or belief systems. This list is by no means exhaustive, but may give an idea of some of the things that may pull couples apart, or certainly stretch them a bit!
I would want to ask you a very important question:
What are you prepared to do/give in order to have a better relationship?
The answer needs some consideration. It seems rather simplistic to say, but if you change nothing, then nothing changes. The same situations and arguments will continue to go round and around. They are fairly predictable, do not generally resolve anything but become really useful fuel for the next row. There may be some difficult decisions to make or discussions to have that you’ve continued to avoid. Instead of finding an answer, it’s just been left, but remains a problem nonetheless, and may even be getting bigger.
I would like to help you to communicate with each other more effectively, so that you are able to tell your partner what your needs and worries are, and to avoid the pitfalls of playing the ‘blame game’. These usually involve digging up the material from past arguments and upsets that have never been resolved properly but instead become the fuel to keep the fire going until it runs out of steam or, until the next time.
I guess that you’ve been doing your best to improve things between you, but sometimes having someone outside of your circumstances, someone who isn’t emotionally close and is able to help you look at the whole picture, might be just what you need. This could be the beginning of having a much more balanced idea of what’s going on and how your relationship could change for the better.
If you’re in a relationship that’s struggling it’s helpful, although it may be uncomfortable and a real challenge, to consider what part ‘I’ play in maintaining the problem; to own my shortcomings rather than heap all of the responsibility of our unhappiness onto my partner. It takes a certain amount of humility and, dare I say, courage to step down from the moral high ground! Having said that, the ‘moral high ground’ can be a very lonely and vulnerable position to find yourself. Maybe it’s time to step down.
If you want things to be different, then that must mean change, and change is a real challenge.