Though this question may sound like the start of a bad joke. Chances are that many of you reading this have asked the question “is my relationship in trouble”? It is an understandable concern and in many relationships, just reaching the four year mark is usually the first signs of conflict in a relationship. The honeymoon stage is long over and now the couple is faced with problems that were small at first and have grown steadily over the years.
Just a quick glance at a Cosmopolitan magazine cover (or any other magazine cover for that matter) inundates you with relationship dread. When selling products, it is easier to ask anxiety provoking statements such as “is your relationships over” or “If your relationship is not perfect, move on!” than it is to give you advise on getting past this difficult time in your life.
So how do you know that it is time to see a couples therapist?
- Start with therapy early before a relationship problem becomes a relationship catastrophe.
- You argue…A lot!
It is also a misconception that arguing is only the raising of voices. Deathly silence can be just as bad as yelling. The outcome is still the same, someone on the receiving end feels hurt. An example would be: Jim comes home and finds his wife Sarah sitting on the couch reading a book. Jim asks how her day was but he is met with cold silence. Sarah looks up at Jim, glares, then goes back to reading her book. Jim knows he is in trouble and also knows he can say nothing without getting deeper into the hole. This silence may last a few hours or days. This is not at all healthy for a relationship.
- Feeling like you are growing apart.
Once the feeling of growing apart has developed, it is an excellent time to look into couples therapy. Perhaps the couples pastimes have changed, but it does not mean that love, connection and intimacy has left the relationship.
- Sex and Intimacy
Always remember, there is room for growth in almost any relationship even if it is difficult to see at first. That is why couples therapy can be incredibly powerful. Don’t wait until your relationship has fallen apart, start working on it now.