Married Life or Life Sentence?
After so many years of marriage, many couples feel more like coworkers than lovers. With countless “meetings” about chores, finances, parenting, and schedules, marriage can begin to feel more like a job than a relationship. What happened to having fun together, dating, and traveling? Did it become sleepy sex, ships crossing paths at night, and kid-centered activities?
It’s important not to get distracted by the never-ending list of responsibilities that come with adulting and get back to making intimacy, friendship, and quality time a priority. I know what you may be thinking…we don’t have time because of work or the kids. But when those kids leave the house, what will you have left? When you finally achieve all of your career goals, will you leave the house? What will you have left? When you finally achieve all of your career goals, will it be as satisfying if you had to lose your family in order to do it? Make time.
My Way or The Highway!
Ever feel like you have to follow behind your spouse with chores, paying bills, cooking, and keeping up with the kids’ school assignments and activities out of fear they will drop the ball? Or maybe you feel like you walk on eggshells because your spouse is a perfectionist who sees no way to do it if it’s not their way! This is a parent-child type of relationship.
A parent-child relationship is where one spouse behaves like a critical parent who is tired of the burden of being the responsible one. The other spouse may feel tired of feeling like no matter how hard they try; they can never do anything good enough for their spouse. Nothing kills the mood more than feeling like you’re in a relationship with a parent or child. It’s important to communicate respectfully and patiently and devise compromises that capture each spouse’s concerns. Get support if you cannot resolve this on your own.
Situations involving intimidation, belittling, accusations, and control may be tied to a deeper issue related to abuse, which is not resolved in couples counseling but through batterer intervention programs.
Uncomfortable Conversations Over Resentment!
I’d like to have an argument today with my spouse…said no one ever! Let’s face it; sometimes, it feels better to avoid issues than to face them. Conflict, for most people, isn’t fun. This often leads to avoiding discussing important issues, feelings, or needs.
I know what you’re thinking. You’re preserving your peace! The silent treatment can do just as much or more damage to a relationship than arguing. Because when issues remain unaddressed and unresolved, they often fester and become a growing resentment. Over time, resentment can be extremely difficult to recover from in a marriage.
The emotional distance, negative assumptions of what their spouse may feel, and feelings of emotional neglect over long periods of time (is not impossible, but is difficult to repair) Seek out Support.
Written by: Natasha D. Oates, Award-Winning Therapist & Relationship Coach