Is it time to spring clean your re­la­tion­ship?

Shepparton News - - WEEKEND HEALTH -

The most com­mon mis­take couples in cri­sis make is seek­ing help when it’s too late, ac­cord­ing to psy­chother­a­pist and lead­ing re­la­tion­ship ex­pert Melissa Fer­rari.

“Couples wait an av­er­age of six un­happy years be­fore get­ting coun­selling. Many times, the built-up re­sent­ment has by then be­come too over-pow­er­ing and one per­son may have al­ready given up. Re­la­tion­ship coun­selling works but, ide­ally, it shouldn’t be a last-minute re­sort,” she said.

In­stead, Melissa ad­vises couples to con­duct an an­nual eval­u­a­tion of their love lives.

“We or­gan­ise yearly health checks with doc­tors and den­tists, so why shouldn’t we take our re­la­tion­ships just as se­ri­ously?” she said.

“Every year, on your an­niver­sary or on a spe­cial date night, take some time to­gether to reAEect on and dis­cuss your re­la­tion­ship. Are you happy? What should you be do­ing more or less of ? Con­sider see­ing a coun­sel­lor for guid­ance be­cause they can help re­solve quar­rels be­fore they turn into big prob­lems and even pre-empt a sep­a­ra­tion down the track.”

Melissa says spring, the tra­di­tional time for courtship and ro­mance, is the per­fect time to give your re­la­tion­ship an an­nual health check.

What are the signs that you need cou­ple coun­selling? Be­low, Melissa lists the most com­mon re­la­tion­ship red AEags. You keep hav­ing the same ar­gu­ments Is your mar­riage a ver­sion of Ground­hog Day in all the wrong ways? Do you have the same dis­agree­ments on the same is­sues over and over again? Ther­apy can help you not only un­der­stand why you keep hav­ing re­cur­ring is­sues, but help you re­solve them once and for all. You’ve stopped be­ing in­ti­mate

Don’t re­mem­ber the last time you had sex, kissed or even held hands? In­ti­macy is con­sid­ered a barom­e­ter for your re­la­tion­ship. Cou­ple coun­selling can help un­cover the real rea­son be­hind the lack of phys­i­cal close­ness and help reignite the Åre. You Ånd fault in ev­ery­thing your part­ner does

Do you crit­i­cise your part­ner for ev­ery­thing they do and don’t do? Do you bad-mouth your other half in front of friends and fam­ily? Re­sent­ment is at the root of many toxic re­la­tion­ships, but by seek­ing help, both par­ties can get the right tools for over­com­ing bit­ter­ness and re­build­ing a healthy re­la­tion­ship. You lead sep­a­rate lives

Are you more house­mates than lovers? A ther­a­pist can help you re­con­nect with your part­ner on a ro­man­tic level and re­mind you of why you fell in love in the Årst place. You don’t trust your part­ner

When you trust some­one, you feel phys­i­cally and emo­tion­ally safe with them. Trust is the foun­da­tion of a healthy re­la­tion­ship, and if it is miss­ing — whether your part­ner has bro­ken that conÅ­dence or if you have in­her­ent trust is­sues — it is a prob­lem that re­quires re­solv­ing. A coun­sel­lor can help with es­tab­lish­ing and restor­ing trust. You have Ånan­cial Åghts Money is the cause of many re­la­tion­ship break­downs and divorces, even when it

comes to couples that are Ånan­cially well off. We Åght over Ånan­cial mat­ters be­cause we tend to have dif­fer­ent, deeply-rooted be­liefs about the best way to use money. Re­la­tion­ship coun­selling can help you un­der­stand your part­ner’s dif­fer­ing point of view and guide you both to­wards a res­o­lu­tion. You feel like your part­ner doesn’t lis­ten to you

Do you feel ig­nored by your part­ner? No mat­ter how many times you’ve said some­thing, he/she doesn’t lis­ten? Com­mu­ni­ca­tion is key in happy re­la­tion­ships, and it is in­deed a two-way street. Cou­ple coun­selling can help you both im­prove your com­mu­ni­ca­tion skills. You’re think­ing about hav­ing an af­fair

So­cial me­dia has made it eas­ier than ever to cheat, so if you Ånd your­self send­ing AEirty mes­sages to co-work­ers, friends or even strangers, you are one step closer to hav­ing an af­fair. Cou­ple ther­apy can help ex­plore what it is you’re lack­ing in your cur­rent re­la­tion­ship and solve the prob­lem if you cross that line.

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