Here are tips for deciding when to address issues. In later days we will discuss how to address them and signals or signs that you may need more help.
When is it important to address issues in my relationship?
It can be a challenge to know when something is an issue that affects your relationship and when it is just “your” problem and something that you need to accept about your partner and learn to let it go.
The following guidelines give some ideas for how to make the choices about when to address issues.
Address issues head on in your relationship:
1. When there is physical harm to someone in the family.
Issues must, of course, be addressed at the first sign of any physical harm. Situations often do not improve for the long term. While there may be a “honeymoon” phase, these changes do not always last.
It may be that your spouse is not the place to start the conversation since it may increase the chances of harm. Consider steps carefully.
2. When there is emotional or verbal harm to someone in the family.
Respect and loving communication are crucial in a healthy marriage. If they are not present, 100% of the time, the issue must be addressed. If you do not feel that you and your ideas are respected, address the issue head on.
3. When the financial livelihood of the family is affected.
Money is one of the top 3 issues about which couples often disagree. Money is loaded with so many different psychological aspects. For some it symbolizes power. For others, the meaning may be related to childhood experiences. Open and honest communication about money is important in a couple’s relationship.
4. When distance has grown and you are feeling lonely.
Day-to-day living with jobs, children and activities can lead to distance and loneliness in a relationship. The inability to resolve conflict can do the same. If you are feeling lonely in your marriage … talk to your spouse. Be sure to confide in him or her rather than someone else (especially of the opposite sex).
5. When concerns or issues are not resolved in a way that is ok with you both a great deal of the time.
Avoiding conflict is a style of relating that fits for many people. It rarely helps a relationship. Talk with and listen to each other about the issues.
If you feel that you are not okay with how things are resolved most of the time, it is important to address that as well. Find a way to talk about it before the resentment builds.
6. When you suspect an affair.
Turning away from a suspected affair can sanction and give permission for an unfaithful relationship to grow. If you are concerned about a friendship that your spouse is having, talk about it out loud, as calmly as possible.
7. If your resentment has grown so strong that you are having problems dealing with it.
Some things are not worth talking about. Others must be addressed. If you find that resentment is building, that is a sign that something is missing in your communication. Do what you can to identify what is bothering you and find a way to talk about it.
8. When the negativity in your marriage far outweighs the positivity.
Is there an environment of positivity in your marriage … or has it slipped to negativity? Research shows that a ratio of 5 positives for every one negative is present in healthy marriages. If you are not at that place address that head on.
9. When there is a lack of intimacy inside or outside of the bedroom.
Woman often want intimacy outside of the bedroom before feeling ready to be intimate in the bedroom. For men it is often just the opposite. If you are missing intimacy in either place, talk about it.
10. When all communication seems either non-existent or you two are just misunderstanding much of what the other is saying or trying to communicate.
Talk about talking with each other. Share your sadness and disappointment about your lack of communication and find a way to talk more with each other. Share what you think and feel and hear what your partner needs and wants.
Counseling Relationships Online.com
Couples Counseling of Louisville.com