Don't leave your most important relationship to languish
They've been married a long time, have grown children and some little grandchildren.
They've known each other since they were kids.
They are middle-aged now, still working at their careers and actively engaged with their family life. So, what's the problem?
Their marriage is withering on the vine. Why? It's been left unattended for most of their married life.
They say they did try counseling once before some years back but it sounded as if their participation was half-hearted. Apparently the counselor made some suggestions, they tried them for awhile, then just drifted back to their old ways.
In their presentation to me, both acknowledge there's a problem in the marriage and that they've "grown apart".
But, their solutions are the same: They each want the other to change. They each like their own activities and the way they conduct their own individual life and don't volunteer to make any changes themselves. Artist: Elizabeth Frank
These people have part of it right; you do need to be an independent person with a developed identity of your own before you can be emotionally intimate with another. But, what is missing is the attention to the relationship itself. There is nothing shared, no mutual interest other than the extended family events; they never make plans to do fun things together. They share no pleasures. They each obtain their primary gratification in life from independent interests. When they talk to each other, there is no listening going on and there is anger in evidence as well as defeat.
In addition, they each see the other as wrong and in need of correction but are doing no self-evaluation. (This is the key)
It almost seems as if they could save some money and just follow the suggestions in that post, doesn't it. Well, that would improve their happiness but, of course, their problem is more complicated than that so they do need a therapist---to see beneath the surface and to decipher the interpersonal dynamics. So, hopefully, they will make the commitment to work on their relationship in therapy.
~However, their case as I've outlined it above, does illustrate the point, that relationships need nurturing. Too many of us think that we can busy ourselves with all of the many responsibilities and interesting activities of life while our relationship will take care of itself. No, not really. Marriage is not the solution, marriage is the beginning. Marriage means you have something in your life that is central and that you need to attend to, on-going. It needs to be given your energy, your time, and your thought.~
What kind of relationship do you want would be a good question to begin with: Do you want comfort? Is a romantic relationship what you wish for? Friendship---maybe you want a life-partner-buddy. Do you want to plan adventures together or do you want to develop a beautiful home life? Do you want a close confidante or more of a business-of-life partner? Whatever you want, communicate about it with your mate. See if you can come up with a shared vision. And then, put some effort into manifesting that vision. Wishing you good fortune in that endeavor!
If you are interested in reading more about relationships, click on that label which is on the landing page. There is also a label that lists all posts that talk about communication.
Your comments are welcome.