So you find yourself in a relationship on the verge of making a life-altering decision. Perhaps, you're planning a wedding, thinking of having a baby, or contemplating purchasing a home together. You're excited about taking this step together because it symbolizes your commitment to one another. Everything isn't exactly as you would like it to be but whose relationship is perfect anyway? You're confident that once you take this step together things will get better. Otherwise, why would the two of you be moving in the same direction, right?
Before you move forward ask yourselves, "What if this is as good as it gets?" If the relationship stays the way it is now even after taking that huge step, will that be okay? Will you be content?
Too often, couples find themselves years into a relationship acknowledging they made a major decision with the hope that it would help problems improve. They mistakenly believed:
- "Once we get married he'll be more loving."
- "After we buy the house we'll spend more time together."
- "Once we move in together the sex will improve."
- "After the baby is born, she'll be more responsible. The baby will change her."
The reality is unless you are actively working towards change, long-lasting change is unlikely to happen. Instead you will probably find yourself with more responsibility and a lot more frustration. Don't cross your fingers and hope for the best, take action by doing the following:
- Talk To Your Partner About Your Concerns: If you're willing to make a life-altering decision with this person then having important albeit uncomfortable discussions is a must. Voice your concerns to your partner and find out how they feel about the situation. Do they have the same concerns? Why haven't they addressed the topic?
- Discuss Your Expectations About How Your Relationship Will Change: Maybe you expect things to change once you've taken a big step like marriage, but does your partner have the same expectations? They may have no intention, expectation, or hope of things changing. Don't assume you want the same future. DISCUSS IT. Ask questions, have dialogue. BE SURE you have the same vision.
- Address Your Concerns in Couples Therapy: Working with a couples therapist who can help you process your emotions and address your concerns is a safe way to navigate tough conversations. The therapist can help provide you with the tools to set relationship goals and the support you need to meet those goals.
You may be uncomfortable addressing some of the current issues you're facing in your relationship especially if you're someone who avoids conflict. However, it's highly unlikely that the problem will improve by adding more responsibility to the relationship. More responsibility means more stress which means more pressure on what may already be a rocky foundation. Do yourselves a favor and address the concerns NOW not later. In the long run, you'll be happy you did.
DISCLAIMER: THE RELATIONSHIP & SEXUAL WELLNESS CENTER blog is not intended to be a substitute for legal, ethical or medical consultation or for treatment and is strictly for educational and entertainment purposes. Nothing found on the website or email is a substitute for professional psychological, psychiatric or medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical or mental health condition.