There are times in our marriages where we have problems, but we struggle with finding a resolution. I have found in some of those situations, it’s because there are some deeper issues individually. When we see these recurring issues, both partners have to take accountability and look for signs that one of the partners needs further help.
This is not about pointing fingers, placing blame, or getting fed-up with each other—quite the opposite. It’s about recognizing someone has an issue that the two of you can’t overcome and that partner may need professional help. Here are some keys to look for:
1. You Can’t Please Them
If your spouse is used to their example of how a man or woman is supposed to treat them and you fall short of that expectation, that’s their issue, not yours. However, sometimes the two of you can’t resolve it.
Sometimes the issue is a past relationship where they were treated a certain way and possibly forced to do certain things. They could have expectations still lingering of how they were treated and they expect you to meet this standard.
Often, people have been through unhealthy relationships or childhood issues and have not healed or worse, have no idea the issue exists. It becomes a part of who they are. When you are working beyond measure to meet expectations, changing your habits and yet, nothing is good enough, that can be a sign of something deeper.
Read this: When You Can’t Do it Alone: 5 Signs that It’s Time to Get Outside Help for Your Troubled Marriage
2. You Argue About Every Little Thing
When someone is harboring something which could be a deeply rooted issue, many times whether they are aware or not, they will become difficult to communicate with. If you start to see triggers (like discussing parenting or withholding sex, etc.), it could be time to have a conversation about getting someone to talk to.
When people have deeper issues, we put up defense mechanisms. One of the easiest is not to talk about anything related to what is causing their pain or stress. Another defense mechanism is to pick a fight about almost anything, that way, they don’t have to talk about their issue. If you and your spouse have been able to communicate, but something happens (which you are unaware of) where you can’t communicate and your spouse won’t discuss it, that’s often a sign of a deeper issue rearing its head.
2. You Avoid Each Other
I’m a coach, but I have friends who are counselors and they often mention people avoid interaction because of their personal challenges. For example, if there is a deep-seeded sexual issue, a partner may do their best not be intimate.
Taking that one step further, they may make it a point not to even make intimacy possible (sleeping on the couch, working late, etc.). A mate can also put up other barriers by not being accessible when they would be alone together. Going out with friends or co-workers to avoid dealing with the problem.
Many times, a person naturally thinks the other person is cheating, but the reality is, their spouse has a serious personal issue they haven’t resolved and they don’t know how to talk about it with their mate. If you can get through the barriers to find out your spouse has something they need to work through, help them get to a licensed counselor. Most insurance companies now pay for some level of counseling.
We have to take the time to make sure we are mentally and psychologically healthy as individuals so that we can work together to grow our marriages and relationships every day.
BMWK – what are some other signs that it’s time to get some professional help for your marriage?