What causes marital disharmony? When should a couple seek counselling?
Is tolerance on the decline or is our threshold to endure frustration getting lower? Is our life too fast-paced and our schedules so packed that we cannot understand the meaning of compromise and caring ?
Nuclear families are so common that a youngster commented, “I live in a joint family, my husband stays with me.” It is very common nowadays for a couple to work in different places and meet only during the weekend.
Why is incompatibility among couples a growing phenomenon these days?
* A break-up can take place as early as two years or as late as 20 years after marriage.
* In the beginning, disagreements surface and this can later lead to hurtful fights.
* It ruins intimacy and causes emotional trauma.
* A marriage would have started on a happy note (even after a long engagement, or a long period of courtship), but may have begun to sour, without the couple even realising it. Though the couple try their ‘best to make the relationship work’, the rift widens and they split up.
The danger signal
When do we know that a relationship is not working?
* Arguments and misunderstanding become frequent.
* It is not what is said to each other but how and when it is said.
The outcome? As individuals, their personal and professional life suffers. They are always irritable at home and, at work, fail to meet goals and deadlines.
* They lose focus and are unable to engage themselves in activities they usually enjoy.
* Giving each other the silent treatment — not finding any subject to converse about rather than it leading to an argument.
*Avoiding physical intimacy and losing interest in it altogether.
* Sex deprivation leads to frustration.
* Both partners lose their self-esteem.
* Sometimes one of them may be involved in an extra-marital affair (if this is not the reason for the misunderstanding).
* Interpersonal relationships with family and friends are affected.
* The bad marriage causes emotional scars and trauma.
* The breakdown of marital ties has a negative bearing on the children's emotional, physical, cognitive and intellectual development.
* The couple suffer depression and anxiety.
* Eventually, they separate or divorce.
Meet a councillor when…
* When arguments turn into bitter ‘fights’.
* When communication becomes rare or nil.
* The element of romance disappears and physical relationship is affected.
* In early marriage, when there is disagreement about when to have children and how they should be raised.
* Each spouse feels he/she is taken for granted and unloved.
* There are more than two people in the marriage.
* Each spouse feels suffocated and the need for personal space increases.
* It seems to be a ‘conditional relationship’. You are afraid of your spouse because of emotional blackmail, threats, etc.
* When you're unhappy in the marriage, but do not know what caused it and only feel there is something missing in the relationship.