As marriage counsellors covering Tweed Heads and Gold Coast, we find approximately half the couples that come for relationship counselling, have hit a crisis point.
There are many reasons why you would find yourself facing a crisis. It could be because of an affair, an addiction out of control, untreated mental health, your partner threatening to commit suicide or separate, there could be violence and abuse which has become too much to bear, or a major trauma such as accident occur. Or sometimes, an outside circumstance creates the crisis, such as losing a job, or become ill, which puts financial and extra emotional pressure on the relationship.
Amongst the obvious reasons for relationship crisis, there is a silent epidemic that often goes unnoticed. This crisis builds up, until one day, out of the blue, either you or your partner may say, “I love you, but I am not in love with you anymore.”
Where does this come from? How did you get to this point, you may ask. All you know is, you cannot face the same problem arising again and again without getting any resolution.
To put it in simple terms, the silent type of crisis develops usually over the years. Small issues get swept under the carpet and you hope they will go away with time. Unfortunately, they never do. The problems resurface time and time again, and if left ignored, the hurts and resentments eat away at the relationship.
So, what do you do? The first step in getting through a crisis is asking for help.
When in crisis, your brain goes into overdrive and you may panic and become very anxious. You may go into the state we call, fight, flight or freeze. This is where your relationship breaks down, where one or both partners operate from a place of fear. Being in crisis brings a feeling of desperation about how to survive in your relationship.
This is where outside support can be very valuable. Having guidance from someone who is not involved can give insight as to what has happened and what to do about it. Seeking the right professional advice will help to move out of desperation into aspiration.
You may consider confiding in your family or friends, but unless they have a strong relationship, it may be hard to get an unbiased opinion that will be helpful. Being in relationship crisis takes courage to reach out for help, but the longer you leave it to seek help, the lesser your chances are to restore your relationship.
Just because you have hit a crisis point, you don’t have to give up on your relationship entirely. Sometimes to get through the rough patch, separation may be advisable for a negotiated length of time.
The hard truth is, sometimes there is a point of no return and either you or your partner choose not to continue the relationship. Sometimes it is easier to not tackle the personal problems because deep inside you may fear the best way may be to leave the relationship permanently.
If you want to stay in your relationship, you need to be willing to accept your partner fully now. Look inwards and learn from your mistakes and make the corrections so you can grow.
Notice if unconsciously or not, you would rather stay in an unhappy relationship, than make the changes to be happy. To move through crisis, start with yourself personally. Working on yourself during a relationship crisis can be very challenging, however working on yourself first is the only way to improving your relationship. Things don’t automatically become easier, yet with persistence, personal and relationship growth is the most rewarding thing to experience. At Love Life Matters at Tweed Heads and Gold Coast, we can assist you to move through the crisis into a brighter and more connected relationship.