One of the most frequently asked questions posed to psychologists, marriage therapists and couples counsellors is, “How do I know if my relationship is worth saving?” Relationships become strained and in doubt for many reasons: absence of sex and intimacy, financial conflicts, health issues, family concerns, difficulties adapting to having children, growing personal differences and infidelity. In most cases underlying all these are issues of emotional trust and acceptance.
A Better You In Relationship
Relationships work when you feel that you can be more of who you want to be inside the relationship than outside of it. In other words, couples do well when they feel understood and appreciated — when your spouse “gets you,” appreciates you for who you are, takes pleasure in their time with you, and wants the best for you. Relationships don’t work when spouses feel manipulated, intimidated, or coerced into a version of themselves by the needs and demands of the other person.
Secure & Comfortable
Your relationship should enable you to feel secure and comfortable around your partner or spouse. It is a feeling that your partner or spouse accepts and understands you, has your back, is on your team rather than having to continually defend yourself in the face of regular criticism, put downs, and dismissals of your feelings. Your relationship is worth saving if, in the face of your current difficulties, you feel that your spouse or partner is open and willing to work with you to improve it rather than it all falling on your shoulders.
Part of our make-up as people is the nature of our attachments – the quality and patterns of how we connect with others. The best types of attachments develop when we feel emotional trust and security, rather than criticism, blame and judgement. Sometimes the attachment in the relationship is all one way – such that you are constantly pursuing the other for connection and although you don’t fight there is very little in the way of emotional support and nurturance. Your relationship is worth working on if there is a strong mutual attachment.
You Feel Supported
In relationships that are working, people describe very different emotional experiences from those in strained relationships. They talk about feeling that the other person “has their back” and that they are “on the same team together” even when times are difficult. A marriage is a partnership, and you have to both be in it together to maintain a stable and healthy relationship based on trust, respect, and intimacy. Your relationship is worth saving if you and your partner or spouse are in agreement about these intentions even though the two of you may be struggling at present.
How Clear Path Solutions therapists can help
Clear Path Solutions has effective marriage and couples therapists who are experienced in helping couples determine whether their relationships are worth saving and in helping couples make the necessary changes to have the relationship they want. We can equip you with the tools you need to strengthen your relationship, enhance intimacy, and restore the emotional bonds at the heart of solid relationships.