Relationships are hard work. Anyone who says differently is clearly delusional or very young. The healthiest relationships comprise of people who put in the effort to understand and grow with each other. Though that sounds easy enough, it really isn’t.
Common Mistakes Made In Romantic Relationships
Romantic relationships are especially held on a high pedestal and you will often find people using their romantic relationships as the one-stop-solution to all their problems. This in turn can create more problems as the people in the relationship stop having a life outside of it. Always remember that your romantic relationship, while important, is one of the many relationships in your life. You have your family, your friends, your work life, your career, and your own personal relationship with yourself.
However, our society has been reinforced with the idea that romantic relationships are better and more important than any other. This is especially damaging during and after a breakup or the end of a relationship. The people involved no longer have a support system in place and find themselves in an unhealthy codependent relationship. This can often lead to the back-and-forth associated with unstable relationships with constant fighting and multiple breakups. No matter what Ross and Rachel may have made it look like, that dynamic is not fun for anyone.
Due to these reasons, and the acceptance of therapy and counseling in one’s life, people with relationship problems will often find themselves turning to relationship or couples counseling. While this may still lead to a breakup, it is at its core an earnest effort to keep the relationship alive.
For instance, one of the best fictional couples, Jim and Pam from The Office, turn to couples therapy when they face problems in their relationship, and this decision is not looked down upon or stigmatized. And while the fans were absolutely sure that the creators would never break the couple up, it was an honest look into how certain circumstances and especially a lack of communication can lead to resentment and distance.
Can’t We Talk It Out?
The best part about couples therapy, just like any other form of talk therapy, is that you do not need to have massive problems before scheduling an appointment. Some couples often use therapy as a check-up especially during periods of stress and transition. These couples have a strong foundation of respect and will leave the sessions with a better understanding of their partner, their relationship, and themselves. These couples are also most likely to survive through hardship and tough times.
On the other hand, you have couples who only resort to couples counseling after the damage is too bad. In this scenario, couples may enter therapy not as a unit, but as separate individuals looking for validation and an excuse to end the relationship. Due to this mindset, a lot of couples who enter through this route inevitably break up.
However, this does not mean that a relationship is doomed simply because you had a bad fight or a couple of bad months. Remember when we said earlier that relationships are work? That remains true throughout the course of the therapy. Couples can only get better if they are willing to accept that they are flawed individuals who will sometimes be right, and sometimes be wrong and due to this, there will always be room for improvement. So couples counseling requires an open mind and a willingness to accept and correct behavior that is damaging and hurtful.
One of the most common problems addressed in couples counseling is a lack of communication, leading to misunderstandings and fights. This requires all the people to reflect upon their behavior and accept that it may have unintentionally hurt their partner. It is apologizing and making concrete changes to the way you communicate and express your thoughts and feelings.
But changing ingrained behavior is not easy and partners have to allow each other the time and space required to do so. Additionally, it always helps to have an impartial third party present who can ensure that things do not get too heated or off-topic.
A relationship counselor can do exactly that.
They can help facilitate communication so as to help partners gain better insight into each other. The best therapists provide you with the tools to heal your relationship rather than blanket solutions. This allows you to leave therapy with the right strategies for effective communication and a better understanding of your partner. Another advantage is that you never really forget the lessons you learn, allowing you to revisit these techniques at a later date or even restart therapy much more easily.
So if you feel that your relationship could use a pick-me-up, simply book a session with one of our experts, Priya Singh, for the same.