Getting past the blame
Many of the couples that I see in my practice don’t know how to have a healthy couple relationship. They are unhappy and try to blame each other for these issues.
When you analyse some of their problems it can be seen that their relationship may be based on some unhealthy beliefs.
- You don’t have to work on a relationship; it should just be naturally ok
- This is what my Mum and Dad did, and it worked for them
- It is the other person’s fault, and I have done nothing to contribute to the problems
Building a healthy couple relationship
Some people may have had good parental role models, but may not have seen the relationship connection between their parents.
Many people may have grown up in a difficult family, and have had to struggle along to understand relationships.
A healthy couple relationship is akin to a healthy friendship, just with extras.
Unfortunately some people just survive their relationships and they never grow and develop as a person, and as a couple.
Relationship quiz – test the health of your relationship
- Do you get along well – do you have some shared interests?
- Do you have fun together?
- Do you do what one person wants to do or is there equal time for both partner’s interests and wishes?
- Do you have similar dreams and expectations?
- Are you able to raise and talk about difficult issues with your partner?
- Are you able to say what you need and what you want without feeling like there is something wrong with you?
- Are you able to have your own personal space to see friends and family and have individual dreams and hopes outside of the relationship?
- Are you both able to apologise and own your part in a conflict?
- Is there room for both of you in the relationship or is it all about one of you?
- Do you feel relaxed and happy most of the time or do you feel worried and fearful about upsetting your partner?
- Is there a sense of equality and shared responsibility in the relationship?
- Do you feel like you and your partner have equal rights, equal say and equal power in the relationship?
- Are you able to recover after conflict, or do issues never really get resolved?
- Do you feel listened to and understood, or are your feelings and concerns dismissed?
- Is the balance right with individual time and couple time?
- Do you feel appreciated, supported and loved most of the time?
- Can you set healthy boundaries with your partner?
- Are you able to reflect and talk about what is working and not working in your relationship?
- Is there room for differences in your relationship and are these valued?
- Do you have to adjust yourself all the time to please your partner?
If you mainly answered yes to these questions, then you are well on the way to having a healthy couple relationship.
If no, then it might be time to look at what is going on.
Your relationship may be really struggling because your needs as an individual, and as a couple, may have gone underground, and you are fighting or arguing all the time about the same old issues.
It’s time to put the spotlight on what is really going on – what you both want, and how to work on it together.
Couples counselling can help!
Relationship Counsellor, Geelong