Couples counseling has helped many relationships from the brink. And even if you and your partner decide to split, couples counseling can help you have a "healthier" breakup.
As with any relationship, there are exceptions. If there is any type of abuse in your relationship, seek help immediately.
Here are 7 signs your relationship is in serious trouble:
1. You and your partner are spending more and more time apart.
Having separate interests is a good thing. Using separate interests as an excuse to get away from your partner is not a good thing. When your relationship is falling apart, you look for reasons not to go home. You drive home filled with dread. That is not a healthy way to live.
2. Your beliefs have become vastly different.
People change. Sometimes they change to the point where one person's ideology is completely opposite of his or her partner's beliefs or ideals. Differences in interests, such as hobbies or types of movies you like to watch, aren't that big of a deal when you have common beliefs and understandings. However, people can change to the point where one partner has a new belief system that is even deplorable to the other partner.
3. You feel more relaxed and "yourself" when you are not around your partner.
You feel like you can "exhale" when your partner's not around. You can be yourself. You can even eat spaghetti with sauce over your white carpet without your partner freaking out. This is different than the sense of relaxation you get when you have the house to yourself. You can still enjoy that solitude and miss your partner. However, when you are constantly saying to yourself, "Thank God he'll/she'll be gone for the rest of the day", that's a problem.
4. You and your partner have stopped talking, except for mundane things, like "Pass the butter".
Relationships are about communication. When you are just communicating niceties, things need to change. Quickly. A cold relationship is a tough thing to face every day. You want a partner that wants to get to know you, and vice versa.
5. You rarely or never have sex anymore.
Physical intimacy is just as important as emotional intimacy. There are various physical reasons why couples may not be having sex - a woman may have just given birth, or a man may have had prostate surgery. But healthy couples still find ways to touch and caress. When there is a lack of any type of physical contact, it's a serious issue.
6. You used to have "discussions". Now they are full-on arguments.
No one hears what you are saying when you are yelling. And after a while, it doesn't even have an impact on the other person - they just tune it out. Notice if you are constantly arguing over "dealbreaker" issues such as whether to have kids or how you should manage your debt. If you can't agree to disagree, it's time to reevaluate your relationship.
7. You and your partner have open contempt for each other.
This isn't just a feeling of "You are annoying me right now". Contempt is outright hate. Thinking about having sex with your partner makes your skin crawl. You even hate the way they eat toast. When you and your partner are talking to each other, your body language consists of folded arms and an aggressive stance. You may get to the point where you have no problem showing your contempt for your partner in front of other people.
If you are experiencing these difficulties in your relationship, seek the help of a counselor. If you feel things are beyond repair, counseling can help you with your feelings of loss and grief.
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