When Love is no Longer sweet: When do you know is the right time to end your marriage?
Advice for couples/parents on marriage issues-should they hold on or let go of the relationship? Where can they go for help?
The reality of marriage is that it requires a lot more than loving your partner or loving your children to make it work. It requires really unique skills to manage conflict,have good marriage communication skills to discuss difference of wants and learn how to negotiate conflict for a win-win for spouses. The skills that make you a good employee or boss or parent don’t work in a marriage. The lack of effective marital skills leads to the loss of good feelings and love in the relationship.
Prevention is Best!
To ensure a successful marriage, start early and do marriage counselling with an experienced expat marriage counsellor prior to getting married to learn skills for effective marriage communication skills, managing differences in the marriage and learning how both parties can get their needs met. While it may seem odd to get help when you are happy, that is the best time to learn new skills. A good couple counsellor will be able to help you do this efficiently.
So often married couples are caught up in many emotions of planning the wedding, usually their sex life is the best it will ever be and life is not complicated. Once people get married, it takes more communication and conflict managment skills to be able to manages the demands of the individuals' careers, personal time and couple time. Throw in a few kids and things can get even more complicated. Starting early and learning effective conflict management skills means therapy is shorter and results are easier to come by. A good marriage counsellor can help you do this quickly and effectively becasue of their training.
Go when Problems are Small
If you are already married and starting to feel dissatisfied, do not wait to seek professional marriage counselling help. Too often couples rely on “hope” or magical thinking in their marriage. Hope or magical thinking believes that doing the same ineffective behaviors will change my partner, situation or relationship. A professional trained expat counsellor will help but effective marriage behaviors in place to get you the happy marriage you want.
Research shows that married couples experience 6 years of decline and unhappiness in their marriage before seeking help from a marriage counsellor. Sometimes married couples wait too long and marriage counselling won’t be enough to save a marriage.
If you have been experiencing a long period of marital unhappiness, do not wait to get professional marriage counselling help, even if your partner doesn’t want to come marriage counselling. You can go alone to marriage counselling and learn how to improve your marriage or relationship with the help of an effective marriage counsellor. Before anyone ends a marriage they want to work their way out and make sure they’ve done everything they can to save it. So you can work your way out of or into a marriage with or without your partner. To ensure a successful outcome seek help earlier from a professional marriage counsellor.
Bad Reasons to Stay in a Marriage:
- For the kids: this places a huge burden on children. Divorce itself doesn’t hurt children but two fighting parents that can’t stand each, hurl insults and are vicious towards each other, DO hurt children whether they are married or not.
- Stigma: staying with someone in order to avoid shame won’t make for a happy union and will lead to resentment.
- To keep your parents happy. Again if you are in a relationship for anyone other than yourself, it won’t work, you’ll feel a lot of anger and resentment and there is no love in that.
- Money: Often people fear the loss of financial stability. However, this again creates a power imbalance and this can create many power struggle fights
- Fear of Change: Change is inevitable, and staying in a bad situation is not enough to make a marriage work.
Good Reason to Save the Marriage:
- You can still remember positively all the reasons why you decided to get married to your partner
- You still can find good in your relationship and value what you’ve created together
- You still feel motivated to try and make things better and you are willing to change and are not just focused on what your partner needs to change
- You still like your partner. While love is important, you can love someone and not like them, so it is important to like your partner.
- You are willing to take responsibility for your part in what is not working in the relationship regardless of what your partner does
- You are will to put your relationship above all the needs and issues to make it better.
Tammy M. Fontana, MS, NCC, CTRT, LEVEL 2 Gottman Therapy
All in the Family Counselling
+65 9030 7239