Welcome to our Friday series for couples, filled with mouth-watering food pictures and insightful relationship tips, because we all know that after a while, it’s all about the food when it comes to long-term relationships.
When couples come to therapy, it’s generally because they are in a really tough spot. Ideally, I would love for them to come in earlier before the conflict spirals, than wait until the last minute when all the positive feelings are gone and the resentment has set in.
So, when they are finally ready to engage in therapy (sometimes they come with one foot out the door), they are not really willing to take any more risks for each other and they are stuck. They ask “why should I be doing this?”
And that’s the right question at this time. If they don’t ask it, I do. That’s where we start.
What’s your WHY?
Why are you still in this relationship?
Decide on YOUR motivating factors. Why are YOU going through this? Why are YOU staying? Why are YOU committed to making long term changes to your personality, your behaviors, your thoughts? If you are perceiving this process as a sacrifice, why are YOU sacrificing? It’s not often that we pause and ask ourselves why we do the things we do, why we say the things we say.
Some options could be:
- For the kids
- Because of your faith
- You still believe in love and love your spouse
- You remember the pain of your parents’ divorce
- You want to become a better person and this marriage is the best venue to improve
Be honest with yourself. Your “why” will be the biggest motivator during the tough times and it will sustain you during those intense arguments. Especially, during the aftermath when you feel drained, hopeless, and defeated. It takes a strong WHY to take the emotional risk.
On a lighter note, also, go back to your dating times. Think of some of the reasons WHY you fell in love with each other, and why you chose to marry this person in comparison to the hundreds of other people in your circle. Is it worth taking a risk again? I guarantee that those positive traits are still there but they may have been overshadowed by some of the other traits that were not so obvious at the beginning of your relationship.
If you are looking for more relationship resources, go to my Free Marriage and Relationship Resource Center. You’ll find mini-courses, workbooks, and tangible advice. Are you ready to start improving your relationships?
ABOUT: Dr. Ruxandra LeMay is a private practice psychologist in Litchfield Park, Arizona with experience in family therapy, ADHD, stress and anxiety management, and executive coaching. She is the author of My Spouse Wants More Sex Than Me: The 2-Minute Solution For a Happier Marriage. Click HERE to check out her free resources on effective communication, emotional unavailability, intimacy, and anxiety management or join her at www.ruxandralemay.com for monthly blog posts.