If my marriage isn’t working, what should I do?
There are many reasons why we struggle to maintain a healthy balance in our primary intimate relationships. Regardless of those reasons, they are validated by a series of events and causes.
The first thing I encourage people to do is to get more specific about what isn’t working. It is especially important to acknowledge one’s own thoughts, feelings, unmet needs and behaviors. Without this information it is difficult to find working and realistic solutions.
Following the determined cause, next to follow is the application. How have you tried to address these with your partner? If there is a break in communication and needs have not been expressed - then your partner may not even be aware there is a problem. By addressing your own accountability within the breakdown of the relationship, this creates a soft start of conversation and may be easier for both you and your partner to open the lines of communication.
If you have tried to talk with your partner, but the reaction is defensive or not reciprocated you may need a trained and experienced couple counsellor to help you effectively communicate. For most couple arguments what is on the surface is rarely the whole story – often it is about some unmet need or parallels to unresolved issues or other relationships.
If you aren’t sure whether to continue with your current situation, work together to change for the better, or to call it quits, Discernment Counselling is a tool to assist with identifying what went wrong and whether you are both willing to work towards positive change.
Discernment Counselling is a respectful process to help each partner explore what is the most problematic, what individual non-negotiable needs in the relationship are and what each of you is willing to do to fix things. It is a short-term, intensive approach to help couples together consciously make life changing decisions by encouraging choice and responsibility. It also sets the stage for mutually moving forward with whichever of the three options is chosen: by either affirming things are okay, identifying goals for couple counselling, or reducing conflict if there is a separation.
Not every relationship can or should be saved. Regretfully, couples often wait until there is too much hurt or betrayal to repair. If your marriage isn’t working, be proactive to communicate and address issues together and get professional help early if there are recurring, unresolved issues that could be addressed with better understanding of each other and respectful communication that builds connection.