Ok so do you even agree when the problem started in your relationship? Maybe you have both now identified what the problem is; maybe you both always knew what the problem was but you don’t really know how it got to this point. HOW DID WE GET HERE?? A lot of time couples tell me that it has just been a drip-drip effect. It hasn’t been anything major, its evolved. Its just been a pattern of behaviour that has just got in the way. Communication has just broken down one way or another. Things have just fallen into place, habits have become cemented and time passes quickly. It passes really quickly anyway but I think when you have children, whatever their age but particularly when they are young, are an absolute game-changer without a doubt. Habits form really easily. Often husbands end up sleeping on the sofa or sleeping in the spare room. Countless couples I have worked with or friends I have spoken to, just aren’t sleeping in the same bed anymore because everyone is SO DESPERATE to get some sleep. Sleep is so important. If we don’t get enough sleep we all end up going a bit crazy and in the early days of having children everyone needs sleep however you can get it. But these things can become habit if not identified early on . So its about being able to identity what the problem is but also about when the problem started.
Now one thing I will always ask couples who are mulling it all over and trying to work it out is, lets not concentrate in the problem and what or who it is, lets think about when you were happy. Think back to a time when it was working very well. Now this is something you and your partner can do right now by yourselves with a cup of tea or glass of wine tonight. Think back to when you were last happy. A period in time where these problems didn’t seem to be an issue. I’m not suggesting that it would have been total bliss, maybe it was, maybe it wasn’t. Just thinking back to when that happy period was and then what started to go wrong. See if you can identify what the issue was.. it doesn’t have to be a big issue, it might be a little issue that has snowballed or several little issues that have just built up and built up. So that’s the tip for today. Having identified what the problem is, think about when it started, how that issue crept in and what was going on around that time. Not just what happened but what else was going on. What was communication like, what was happening in the family, what was happening at work, what else was going on at that time. That might be a really good starting point for you to identify what you need in order to start making things better.