Six months ago a couple turns up to my session, they are having a few arguments and they seem to be getting worse, but they made it very clear they love each other. I could see their love was true.
However their arguments were clearly effecting them, but they did not understand the gravity of their situation.
They laughed and joked about their problems, but I could see they were covering up a real pain that sat under their humor.
I explained they were in a coping process that many couples go through. I shared with them the problems they were facing would not just going to go away and if the problem wasn’t corrected it would get worse. I made it clear that it’s likely it would seem to get better and then over time it would suddenly become critical.
The reason it would get worse is because they are not getting to the bottom of their real problems. The reason it would then get better in the short term is because the conflict would stop, not because the problem was resolved, but because one or both people had given up trying.
This lack of honest communication would keep them going for a while, but despite the lack of conflict, resentments would be stacking until one or both of them became so detached and numb the relationship was now just pointless. Love alone would not be enough to keep them together.
Now we are at critical, at this point the vision for the future would disappear and resentment would turn to loss of respect, now getting out and finding freedom, new love could be part of their thoughts.
This couple didn’t listen, they didn’t think that would happen to them, they thought is was just a phase and it would pass so they decided to wait and see if it cleared itself.
Recently they came back as they realised what I had explained was actually happening to them, BUT this time the problems were nearing critical.
Now the humor had gone and their fear was very clear,
Please, please please don’t wait until your relationship gets to critical before you look for help.
Given the right tools most couples can overcome their problems even if they think they have done all they can. You can only try what you know and what you know may not be enough.