When you come together to be a couple, you create an emotional agreement. This agreement forms a secure base which contains your hopes, your dreams and your desires for the relationship. As long as your relationship continues to work, it leads to an immensely fulfilling shared life. However sometimes, even with the best of intentions, things can go wrong.
Having unmet needs is one of the most common issues for couples. One partner may be the one that verbalises these needs, asking or even cajoling their partner, but to no avail. Over time, frustration builds and anger creeps in, which leads to them feeling alone within the relationship. The other partner may feel confused, believing their partner is confronting them and viewing the situation as a conflict.
Both partners end up feeling unfulfilled, alone, inadequate or criticised, causing them to withdraw in order to avoid further emotional pain. Their needs are unmet. They are both suffering. The secure base of the couple feels less secure, leading to feelings of uncertainty and anxiety. Disappointment, anger, and fear replace the initial hopes and the couple may start to consider separation.
Unless there are issues of abuse, addiction, and/or chronic infidelity, before you separate, we encourage you to seek professional help. It is not too late. It is wise to explore all possibilities for saving the relationship before making a final decision to separate, particularly if you have children.
How Separation Counselling Helps
Years of research have indicated that many couples who separate or divorce, find themselves full of regrets 5 years after divorcing. Their biggest regret is the impact of the separation or divorce on their children. Five other listed regrets are:
- They regret the way they handled money and not discussing it with each other.
- They regret that they didn’t show their partners enough affection—with words as well as actions.
- They regret how they couldn’t let go of the past.
- They regret the way they blamed their partner.
- They regret that they didn’t spend ten minutes a day just to connect and check in with their partner.
As experienced relationship counsellors, psychologists and psychotherapists, we know this to be true. If any of the regrets above resonates with you, there is still hope for your relationship. Please don’t give up until you have tried seeking skilled help. You may believe you have done everything you can and that nothing will work, yet we have helped many individuals and couples who have seriously considered separating, to reconcile.
Or, if you decide that separation is the right way forward, separation counselling can help you do so in the healthiest way possible. People often assume that seeing a counsellor is just for repairing a relationship. However, another equally important role of counselling is to help you separate well, damaging each other and your families as little as possible. Counselling helps both of you come to terms with all the pain of a lost relationship and lost hopes and ultimately, to learn to be single again.
Please give your relationship a chance before you make any irrevocable decisions. Although it may seem unlikely now, it is possible things can change for the better. Give us a call to talk about your needs to one of our skilled and experienced relationship counsellors.