The sun is out today. It’s a beautiful morning. But my mind travels back in time 10 years ago, when all was not so sunny and bright.
When relationship troubles hit you, it’s hard to cope. Young children, aging parents, difficult in-laws, a once loving husband whom you can’t seem to get through to now, and day in and day out of a never-ending heartache.
What should I do? You ask yourself. How can I get over this? I’ve never failed at anything. A relationship is the last place I want to start.
So I did what many in my place might do, and many should do, but don’t. After reading this article, I hope they do too.
I didn’t run to my mom, my siblings or my friends. I contacted a Psychologist. Yes, a relationship therapist. If you’re wondering what happens next, read on.
Debunking The Myths
This is for all those spouses, or couples who feel they’re failing at the relationship game. If you’re contemplating a visit to a relationship therapist, here are 9 myths about visiting the expert. This is what you SHOULDN’T expect from him/her. Keep this myths in mind, so you know WHY you’re going in the first place, and how they can and cannot help you.
1. The Therapist Will FIX it all!
The therapist will not jump in to wave a magic wand and FIX your relationship. He/She will show you how you can, or why you can’t. She will listen, and you will vent. Yes, vent, talk it out and cry, even weep. And you WILL feel better when you walk out that door.
2. The Therapist will tell Me Whether I Should Stay ‘IN’ or Want Out!
No, not really. You decide your story. She will help you write it. The therapist will ask you if you want this relationship to end or continue. She can help you with both. But you have to choose.
3. If I Visit a Relationship Therapist, My Spouse MUST Come Too.
He/She might not want to come visit the shrink with you. And it’s okay to go alone. You can’t force your spouse to come visit the therapist unless he/she wants to themselves. And it doesn’t matter. Your spouse is not responsible for your emotional well being. You are. He can contribute to it, but you need to focus on yourself and forget the rest.
4. All I’ll Do Is Vent and Everything Will Be the Same When I Go Back Home.
The 50 odd minutes of ‘venting’ will help you take charge of your emotions. They did for me. And that in itself, sent out a positive message to those around me. If you feel and look sorted, people will take you more seriously when you have to say something.
5. The Therapist Might Advise Me to Stay In My Relationship because of My Children.
Children in a Marriage Are NOT a Reason To Stay In A Bad Relationship.
Children are important, but not more important than you. If you are troubled, if your relationship is troubled, your children will grow up seeing that. And the impact that will have on their future lives and the relationships they have will be affected. So if you’re in it for the children, remember that they need to see a sane relationship. Sometimes, having no relationship is better than an insane one. So if you two can’t find your way together, find it alone. And the children can take the best from both separately, rather than the worst combination of you both together.
6. Visit any Therapist Who Gives Me An Early Appointment.
The therapist you visit matters. Also, try to make an appointment with a clinical psychologist, (who has a professional degree and is trained to handle your relationship issues). Go to one that comes highly recommended and you find a level of comfort with, else, switch. This is your happiness in their hands, you want the right pair of hands.
7. I’ll Give It a Try, but actually, My Family and Friends Know Better!
Your family, siblings, friends will always have a biased stand because they know you both. They too are human and very, very subjective. Also, they might be experienced, but they are not professionally trained to deal with relationship problems. If they were, then no one would have a problem, because families sort out everything, right? Wrong. Go ask any couple in a relationship, (or watch a Pakistani family drama), and they’ll tell a different story.
8. My Spouse Will Change If I Visit The Psychologist.
Not necessarily. Sometimes, if there is a positive change in you, it might lead him to listen to you and take you more seriously. This is not to say that all therapies lead to happy couples. But all therapies should lead to a solution. Whether that means staying together or moving away, it will depend on what is better for you in the long run. So bear with the time and money you invest in your relationship, and in your self. You’re doing it for yourself. And you’re definitely worth it.
9. The Expert Can’t Make Any Difference Unless He/She Can Focus On Your Spouse too.
Relationships are About My Significant ‘Other’. I need to focus on HIM. Not really. The expert you visit will focus on how YOU can deal with the situation you’re in. And how YOU can come up with solutions that are right for you.
While we feel that relationships are all about the other person, they’re not. They’re actually all about you, and how you choose to live with that other. If you want to live happily, in peace, and share a life together, you need to feel mentally, physically and emotionally OKAY to do it. You cannot give someone your best, or ask the best from someone unless you are in a happy place and in control of your life.
And that’s why you need to go to a therapist. Not to fix things, but to find a solution, not for anyone else, but for yourself. Happy healing!
Disclaimer: If you, or anyone you know is experiencing relationship problems, this article is only an opinion piece. Please make an appointment with your psychologist to know more.
This article is the collaboration effort of several members of Team FUCHSIA.