| Relationship Tune-up
Do you wait until every red light on your instrument panel lights up before you take your car in for repair? Not if you want your car to last.
Marriages, like cars, need care and attention. But many couples wait until all the warning lights are on, or even until the relationship stops working altogether before they seek out help.
Jennifer Thomas, clinical psychologist at Associates, says that couples would be better served coming in sooner or even look at marital counseling as a relationship tune up.
“This sounds stark,” she says, “but we sometimes talk about couples waiting until they are D.O.A. (dead on arrival) before they will come in.”
Marc Steele, licensed professional counselor associate at Associates,agrees. “I think it’s harder for a couple tocome in and admit a need for helpthan it is for an individual,” he says. “I have to say it is often the husband who comes in kicking and screaming. It’s a challenge for guys, especially, to admit there’s a problem. There has to be humility involved.”
Thomas and Steele agree that preventative care is far easier for everyone.
Thomas identified three “warning lights” that could alert couples to seek out therapy before their relationship gets in deep trouble:
- a pattern of being invalidated
- consistently unfair decisions or treatment
- communication breakdowns