Sometimes you feel stuck—and that’s where this advice comes in. But there are probably a lot of bumps that you can smooth out on your own.“Counseling is often just a matter of nurturing the relationship,” says Carrie Cole, a cofounder of the Center for Relationship Wellness, in Houston. Cole says that, in her experience, couples who seek counseling have often been letting a problem fester for years (six, on average, she says).
That’s when your marriage can be most vulnerable, says Mates-Youngman. If you’re noticing that your partner or you are starting to pull away emotionally—even if the physical act seems unlikely—you need to make an extra effort to check in and communicate directly. This is largely preventative and obviously requires both partners to be on board.
Ask a simple question at the end of the day: “Sure, it might feel weird at first. “And then you start to notice, ‘No, I don’t really feel connected to you.’ This is what you would be doing on a couples’ retreat.” If there is (or was) a physical affair, it’s probably time to see a professional.
Instead, focus on the simple things that matter to your partner,” says Scott Stanley, Ph. “If your partner takes a walk every day after dinner for 15 minutes and you’ve stopped doing it with him, start it up again.
We all know the little things that we could do on any given day that our partners appreciate.
Or maybe you escape the house—long hours at the office, Cross Fit every morning. The key is letting the argument reveal what values are at play.
Avoiding confrontation or unhappiness by disappearing (emotionally or physically) can be common for people who grew up in volatile homes, says Williams: “Partners avoid confrontation when experience teaches them that it results in negative consequences.”What a therapist would advise: Be willing to interact, even if it isn’t pleasant. For example: You fight about clutter around the house.
”“We all know the little things that we could do on any given day that our partners appreciate.
Do them.” Telltale signs: You’re upset about something, so naturally you walk right past your partner when you get home from work and turn on the TV.
Why not try to heal little irritations before they become giant problems?
Yes, it’s hard, but here’s help: Six experienced marriage counselors break down some of the most common problems that bring couples to their offices and offer advice for working through them at home. Telltale signs: “We don’t get married for economic necessity, like in the past.