Getting to the root of the problem has to be the goal for any couple in crisis. So many couples are struggling because as they try to fix their problems they notice it gets worse. This means they are either fixing their problem badly, or they are fixing the wrong problem.
For some couples, they stop trying to fix it and it silently deteriorates and others can have one person who is in denial that they even have a problem.
My advice is any problem no matter how small are signals that a change is required, the key to your success is understanding the correct change to make and then take action. This is why I work on a diagnose and prescribe model to help couples get out of trouble fast.
Many simply can’t believe their partner can’t understand what seems so simple to them.
- Some couples are having the same arguments so they think they understand what the root problem is.
- Some couples don’t argue at all, so they are confused as to why the relationship is even struggling.
- Some couples are having very different arguments so even though they are unhappy nothing seems to be at the cause.
The root cause is so important to get to because if you fix a symptom the root problem will only create a different symptom.
Example problem: A couple is struggling to communicate:
Let say a couple is taught “Active Listening” so they can stop and really hear what the other is saying. This does help communication, but does it get to the root of the problem?
Many couples have come to me after being taught “Active Listening” and are still confused as to why their relationship is still not working.
These couples can feel that communication was their root problem. Not being able to get through to each other would suggest that’s true, however…
…what if the “Active Listening” made them better friends, but not better lovers.
What if the symptom was “we don’t communicate”, but the root problem was we don’t know how to really create a passion for each other. Communication that creates a background security that naturally leads a couple to passion creates a very different energy from day-to-day communication.
Example problem: An affair:
The biggest problem with affairs is the affair is going to be seen as the main problem as lots of painful energy is looking at the betrayal.
In most causes an affair is not the root problem – an affair is a symptom. The root problem is going to be somewhere in the dynamic the couple created that lead up to the affair.
Example problem: Loss of love:
If someone is feeling they have lost their love for their partner this again is a symptom.
People can fall in and out of love they don’t know how it happens. Someone who is not in love can feel they want to leave the relationship.
Falling out of love is a process and is triggered by events over time that can help the person struggle to trust their partner.
Example problem: Depression:
Depression in a relationship is very hard on couples. In some cases the depression is simply a means that a person can use to protect themselves from experiencing significantly deeper pain in the marriage.
To be clear the person will not be aware this is what they are doing and can become aggressive and fight to keep the depression if anyone tries to fix it.
If you really want a successful marriage for life:
Successful lives really come from a steady focus on consistently doing what actually works. This is true with children, finances, health and a relationship is no different.
Every day an intimate relationship needs feeding the food it requires to stay healthy and alive. If you starve a relationship of the food it requires it will little-by-little die.
- Trying to fix the wrong problem will accelerate the problem.
- Trying to feed the marriage the wrong food stresses both people.
- Ignoring the problem will just allow the weeds to grow and suffocate any good.
“My advice to couples who are experiencing problems is to assume you don’t understand what is really causing your problems and get a diagnosis so the right prescription can be created for you.”