Relationships are unique bonds - at times they can feel effortless and indestructible. At other times, you may question if the struggle is really worth it. Being emotionally vulnerable is scary and takes effort, especially if you’ve experienced bad relationships in the past. Let’s be honest, most of us have a dating history and in some cases an ex may still be involved long after the romantic relationship has ended.
If you and your ex have children together, if one of you pays alimony, if you own joint property, or even share a pet, you’re likely to be in one another’s lives for a long time. When the ex is from your past dealing with them is one thing, but when it’s your partner’s ex it can feel like a much stickier situation.
Truth is, we have to accept the fact that we can not control others’ actions. We can, however, control ourselves and how we choose to handle the situation.
It is important to communicate with your partner and help them recognize how the ex is affecting the relationship and family. Try to get on the same page with your significant other and find a way to eliminate the unnecessary drama. If your partner is sharing their struggle, do your best to be a sympathetic listener and be supportive.
Keeping feelings bottled up is not healthy and will likely backfire in time. Find a safe place to vent, having a non-biased trained counselor involved in a difficult time is highly beneficial. It’s important that you take care of yourself and create clear boundaries.
Individuals come to therapy with a list of complaints about one another, I’ve even seen lists of behaviors they want to change in the other person. Although they are often valid complaints, nothing can be resolved unless both individuals are open to changing their own behaviors.
Couples counseling can push the willingness of each person to own their part of the problem and see what personal behaviors they can alter that will bring about positive change to the relationship.
Therapy will teach both parties how to become self-aware and communicate more clearly. Distinguishing the difference between our feelings and thoughts can be difficult, however these skills can be learned. It is important that you and your partner see each other as teammates working to improve mutual happiness, rather than as opponents. This will increase cooperation and empathy.
Relationships require love, care and commitment from both parties. Our sessions assist committed couples in strengthening their communication skills, developing a deeper understanding of one another, processing and working through long-standing issues, building forgiveness and trust, and growing to be a healthier and happier couple.
Whatever obstacles you and your significant other are currently facing our expert therapists at Pathways Counseling Services can help. If you and your partner are ready to take a step forward in your relationship, schedule an appointment with one of our counselors today. You can book an appointment online or call us at 480-235-1682 to speak with our team.