I have a number of very distressed partners coming to see me for couples counselling at present, at my psychology practice in Wynberg. They either come together (usually one partner brings along a reluctant other half) or on their own because their partner refuses to come.
What can you as an individual do to improve your relationship?
1. Hone your communication and anger management skills
As it takes two people to maintain a destructive arguement, you can make the decision to communicate your needs clearly and to fight fair. If you find you are not able to break the negative cycle you may need to consult someone like a psychologist or psychotherapist to help you master the necessary mind-set and skills.
2. Take personal responsibility for your own actions.
Of course your partner behaves in a way that infuriates you. However, you can make the choice not to react in a negative and destructive way. It is important to find ways that work for you.
3. Accept that constant nagging and criticism will not heal your relationship.
In order to change your interaction pattern into something positive you will need to start focusing on what is good about your partner and to reinforce that. This is hard but necessary. Remember Gottman's 5:1 ratio – good relationships are characterised by communication that consists of a ratio of approximately five positive, constructive comments to one negative comment.
I suggest you make a start and make some positive changes now before it is too late for your relationship to recover!
For any comments or queries, please contact us.