Seeking advice for problems with our relationships can be fraught with difficulties. If you have a leaky roof you get it fixed straight away, but did you know that on average it takes us 6 years to fix a relationship or sexual problem? By that time things are so bad the lawyers have to be called in. Treat your counselor as your best buddy. So if you and your wife are arguing all the time get help before you stop talking altogether.
Just recently there was a magazine article which asked whether the therapists themselves practiced what they preached and guess what? They all sought help well BEFORE they got into difficulties. All of them talked to their therapist even for half an hour on the telephone to get things straight in their minds and to give them a different way of dealing with things.
You are thinking maybe this is a sign of “I can’t manage my affairs” or “this is a sign of failure” RUBBISH. Many of us are brought up to deal with emotions in certain ways and do not have the skills to do things any other way. That will be the same as our partner too. Very often our arguments get personal like “you always do this and that; you’re lazy!” Think how would YOU feel if someone said that to you? Or we say “and another thing” so before we know it we have gone off track and the original trigger for the argument gets lost in all the other things we want to bring up. Stick to one thing at a time. Discuss it rationally and try to find a compromise and not dig your heels in for your way. For both of you to win at arguing you both need to come away with a sense of achievement.
If it ends in a fight take “time out” and resolve to come back to the subject later. In this “time out” time think about what is REALLY bugging you. Here is an example: Say he left his clothes on the bathroom floor yet again, you are tired from a hard day at the office, all you see are the dirty clothes and the fact that you have to clear up after him yet again: cue for a row.
Now what if you said to him “do you realize that when you leave your clothes on the bathroom floor it makes me feel angry, and I feel like I am your doormat to clear up after you?” What do you think his reaction will be? You can bet he will be surprised and will pick his clothes up and put them in the laundry bin where they should be. You could go further and say, “As I am so angry it makes me feel resentful towards you and if you want a kiss and cuddle I want to get away from you.” You can bet your sweet dollar he will soon see the error of his ways.
Therapists can give you the tools to change the way you speak to each other. They are able to look beyond what you are saying and find out the real reasons for the conflict. Sometimes though they uncover things that you would rather weren’t there and were perhaps avoiding. It is healthier for the relationship if difficulties are aired quickly and in a positive atmosphere. If there is a huge amount of resentment and anger it can take some time to sort out.
So seek help soon if you run into trouble. If you say you can’t afford it think about how much the separation and divorce is going to cost!