People do often say that marriage is work, and they’re not wrong. There’s some who worry that a youth culture based on instant gratification and expedient outcomes may threaten marriage in the future because people increasingly lack the patience and determination to make things work. Those who do want to get help might book now for marriage counselling in Perth, Melbourne, Sydney or wherever they live, and a big part of that is that they’re aware of the signs that they need help.
Not everything is easily solved and some things weren’t meant to be casually tossed aside. Here are some sure-fire signs that you and your significant other are prime candidates for marriage counselling.
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Sign 1: There is Indifference in Your Relationship
The last time you or your spouse cried or became upset, what was the other’s reaction. Did they immediately seek to sympathize with you and comfort you? Or did they appear indifferent to your feelings? Is that true for you? Do you find yourself not caring about what your partner is feeling? If so, this is a sign of real indifference and that’s something that should be alien in a marriage.
A good marriage is a partnership; a symbiotic relationship where what impacts one also does the other. The complementary relationship of suffering and support is essential and that means one person has to deeply care about how the other feels.
Sign 2: Your Lives are Becoming Increasingly Separate
Having your own hobbies and interests is one thing, but when virtually nothing you do is as a couple, then you’re essentially starting to live separate lives. It can start with the normalising of the two of you going to bed at different times, which also impacts your sex life (see below). It can then manifest in other everyday ways — eating separate meals, watching TV or devices in separate rooms, or together in one room but wearing headphones, attending fitness activities totally separately — and then builds into bigger things.
If your lives become so out of sync, then it’s as if you’re not really married to that person. Counselling can help with that.
Sign 3: The Sex Has Gone (and Neither of You Care)
As we mentioned above, this often starts with things like bedtime becoming a separate occasion for you both. When one comes to bed much later and the other is asleep, it’s much less likely that you’ll have a real and healthy sex life. What’s more, one partner might resent the other for disturbing them while they’re trying to sleep as the other finally decides to come to bed.
Sex is a physical expression of the love and passion you share. While it’s fairly normal for frequency to die down a little, the extinction of a couple’s sex life and the indifference of that couple about (or at least the indifference of one) is a real problem that counselling can help to work through.
Sign 4: You Always Fight and Snipe
How would you rate the communication between the two of you? Do you walk on eggshells around one another? Do you purposefully avoid talking to avoid getting into fights or disagreements. This is a serious breakdown in communication and often exacerbates problems between the two of you because you are not willing to talk about them and resolve them rationally.
If the most common and regular form of communication between you and your other half is bickering and sniping, as well as petty one-upmanship, then a counsellor might help you get to the bottom of that.
Regard these signs and reflect on other aspects of your relationship. Do you think you might benefit from the help of a third party?