Relationship Crisis Put your Problems on the Table

Evan Murray

After the questioning to take stock of his relationship, comes the time to look the difficulties in the face. Our recommendations to deepen your diagnosis, prepare you to stop or continue, and initiate a fruitful dialogue.

To do alone
To do for two
You are wondering about your relationship and may have already answered the 50 questions to explore your relationship . These questions aroused many thoughts and emotions. If your relationship is going well, you will probably savor it all the more since you have been able to measure the richness of what works well between you, and that new desires promise to intensify the flavor of your bond. If you are going through a moment of crisis, perhaps you feel a little overwhelmed that you have specifically pinpointed what you are experiencing as dead ends. No precipitation.

At this stage of the assessment, it is essential to give yourself a break. "We must not underestimate the impact of this work, it is very emotional on the level of emotion", warns Patrick Estrade. To absorb the shock wave, the psychologist and psychotherapist recommends a time to breathe. And let off steam: "After wondering, write down everything you feel loose, without mince words, without watering down. Fears, doubts, anger, sadness, guilt… ”

Calm down, with a clearer mind, you can then listen to what emerges within you: the desire to continue or on the contrary to stop, the need to set limits, to formulate requests ... either the decision that is emerging in you, do not jump hastily to the conclusion. You don't know anything about your partner's journey, who may be denying the problem, refusing introspection, or much more willing to make things better than you think.

Finally, keep in mind that the main thing is to engage in quality reflection: it can only be beneficial for you and your relationship, whether you decide to continue the journey together or not.

To do alone
Leave aside material questions or what you know about your partner's desires It's about you and your aspirations. Patrick Estrade advises you to start by asking yourself what you no longer want to experience. Because from there will follow what you want. To see more clearly:

Gather your answers to the fifty questions in the different areas explored (feelings, communication, intimacy, sexuality, projects), then read them again, highlighting what seems most important to you.

State your dissatisfaction by writing down all your “I don't want to anymore” (for example: receiving a shower of reproaches or talking to a wall).

Write down your areas for improvement: In front of each reason for dissatisfaction, write down what you yourself could do to promote a change in the relationship.

Question your desire to work on the relationship am I still (a little) motivated? Do I still believe in it? Do I want to believe it again?

Ask yourself what emerges: do I rather want to stop or continue?

I would like to stop

Are you sure? Dig:

Am I sufficiently motivated by the breakup to leave the whole universe of my couple (the beautiful family, the friends, the common rituals, the material and geographical way of life)?

What is the basis for my desire to break up? Frequent weariness after long conflicts? Irreversible wear?

If the relationship changed until it became satisfactory in all areas, would I want to continue down the road with him or her?

Do I want a temporary separation or a breakup? “The first door to hope, we want something to change,” explains Patrick Estrade. The second is the end point of a process. "

I would like to continue

Despite the difficulties, you refuse to consider breaking up. Dig:

What motivates my desire? The fear of finding myself alone? Guilt towards children? Material comfort? Love?

Will continuing require personal sacrifice? Make important renouncements (values, projects, personal freedom) or continue on the other's terms?

Am I ready to question myself and see what I need to change to make things better?

Will / will my partner want to make changes too?

Finally, list everything you are not ready to give up. And everything, therefore, you want to see changed.

When should we leave?
When life as a couple turns into a storm or too dead calm, parting becomes commonplace. However, some are slow to leave the ship. How do you know that the relationship has no future and that it's time to leave? Investigation.
I'm getting ready to talk to him

Give yourself time to digest your "pre-decision" yourself before discussing it with your partner. Do some inner work to calm the emotions that may overwhelm you and confuse discussions. Adopt a constructive posture: as much as possible, avoid shouting, reproaching, and demeaning. You are there to talk about yourself (your desires, your limits), not to put your partner on trial. And to solve a problem together, even if it is to separate you.

To do for two
Agree on a framework for your discussions: a neutral place, a weekly meeting outside (restaurant, stroll). Agreement to share what you think / feel without trying to convince and remaining respectful. In case of slippage, recommends Patrick Estrade, the best is to suspend the discussion and postpone the meeting. The exchanges will necessarily consist of three stages:

Time 1: where I am. Each in turn (without being interrupted) will present in a clear and concise way their results in each area of ​​the relationship: feelings, communication, intimacy, sexuality, projects. These themes may be the subject of one or more meetings, depending on what you deem necessary.

Step 2: what I would like to see change. Each will express what, for him, is not or more bearable in the relationship and will share his possible proposals for a change to occur.

Time 3: my desire. Each will communicate to the other his desire (of the moment in any case): "I would like to continue" or "I would like to stop".

“Working on the couple relationship is a process that takes time and perseverance,” says Patrick Estrade. Do not hesitate to multiply your meetings and to discuss the conditions under which you can have a fruitful dialogue. If your conclusions diverge, or if you are unable to discuss without violence, call on a couple therapist to benefit from his expertise and support.

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