Posted on May 6, 2016 by Dorothy Westin, LISW
All relationships will experience problems. It is quite inevitable. Knowing how to solve those problems is another matter. Problem solving may not be a skill we were taught growing up, and both people in the relationship come from different backgrounds with different problem solving skills. This is where a couples, or marital therapist can help.
The list of problems couples experience can go on and on. The most common issues couples face are:
To further complicate things, we learn our living skills from our family of origin. What we learn from our parents, siblings, and other relatives is often a mixed bag of good, and not so good things. You might see your husband as untrustworthy because he does not do things the way I think he should. Instead, he does things the way his father taught him. Neither way is wrong, yet, we usually want things done or said, our way.
In order to help couples improve their relationship, there are three basic steps in solving a problem or problems in a relationship.
1. First, you must identify and admit the problem(s).
2. Second, you work to find a solution, knowing it will take compromise from one or both of you.
3. Third, is to do the hard work to reach the solution.
Problem solving in a relationship can be simple, but not easy. It takes a lot of hard work from both individuals in the relationship and the know-how to tackle these three steps together without causing even bigger problems. We recommend that couples seek professional help to get the right tools, information and support to move forward instead of backward in their relationship.
After admitting the problem and our part in the problem, we can work on the solution. This is where the hard work comes in. The Marriage Counselor’s job is to guide the couple to reach the solution. To achieve that, there may be written assignments, reading assignments or verbal assignments that the couple will need to complete. Written assignments might entail journaling or writing your couple autobiography. Reading assignments will be personalized for the specific situation that the couple is struggling with. Verbal assignment are also helpful and designed to improve communication such as setting aside time to talk about your day.
Learning how to problem solve in a productive way is a challenge. It can be exciting and scary, but hopeful. It’s exciting because it’s a new challenge. It’s scary because it’s going into the unknown. It’s hopeful because once you have solved your problem(s), you have hope for a happy and healthy relationship.
Learn more about our approach to relationships and marriage counseling on our website HERE. Or, reach out today to schedule your first marriage session to get you back on the path to a happy and healthy relationship!
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