Many couples enjoy the change of pace that summer brings. Vacations, musical festivals, cottage getaways with family and lots of outdoor BBQs are occasions to enjoy life and create happy memories. But these can also be times when relationship troubles are camouflaged, then dealt with later.
Is this you? Sad but true, a time to away, meant to grow as a couple, can also be a time of deepening relationship distress. Couples Therapy is an effective way of overcoming a communications impasse.
A recent report on BBC.com states that people between the age of 16 and 44 are having less sex than ever before. Is there something about life today? Are there new ways to hide problems?
- Excessive smartphone/tablet use/social sites
- Often in the presence of their partners
- Excessive organized family activities
- E.g. not enough free time for individual interests
- Excessive amounts of time viewing adult web sites (Pornography)
These are ways to fill time and maintain distance when unspoken issues lie beneath a superficial calm. Couples unconsciously collude to maintain the status quo of parallel lives – like railroad tracks going in the same direction but never intersecting.
The issues below are still the ones most often involved in couples’ communication breakdowns:
These issues are caused and often complicated by values that you and your partner may not always share. Values are personal perceptions about the right way to live your life. For example, you may believe that it’s better to enjoy life while you have the freedom and resources to do so. Your partner may argue that it’s more important to save money for a nest egg as the priority. Issues become more entrenched when they conceal emotional issues such as insecurities about money or phobias that lead to recurring impasses of communication.
Despite the summer distractions, if you and your partner are stuck in a communication breakdown, it is a good idea to consult a psychologist trained in couples therapy to help you accomplish your goals together.
Dr Eva Fisher is a registered psychologist trained in Ottawa, Canada with training in couples and family issues.