Not every relationship suffers in the same way. One couple might irritate one another until they explode in a loud, angry shouting match. Another couple might just slowly drift apart until one day, they wake up and realize they aren’t as close as they used to be.
It’s not always simple to identify the symptoms of a relationship crisis, and when that realization does come, it often feels as though it’s too late to do anything to fix it. According to the American Psychological Association, 40-50% of married couples in the US get a divorce, and the rates are higher for subsequent marriages.
So what can you do to avoid falling into that situation?
- Ask your partner
They say that the hardest step in the journey of a thousand miles is the first one. It can be embarrassing, or even frightening, to broach this subject with your partner, to ask “Is there anything we need to talk about?” and be ready for the answer. Ensure you and your partner are both as relaxed as you can reasonably ask, and offer the option of talking over a meal or board game, something that can serve as a buffer between questions and answers (having something to do with your hands can lessen anxiety).
- State your needs
In the same way, it can be hard to address needs that aren’t being met, especially if you don’t know what they are. Talk to your partner about what you like or want out of a relationship, and determine what your emotional, physical, and spiritual needs are, both as individuals and as a couple. The more of this process you share with your partner, the better they will understand what’s being asked of them.
- Seek help
You may come to the conclusion that your relationship is fractured. When two flawed human beings interact, this happens. Frequently. If you’re in a position where you and your partner agree there’s something amiss in the relationship, it’s time to reach out to a trusted counselor for help and advice.