Many people find that their marriage is in trouble, but only after realizing it’s been in trouble for a long time. Sometimes by the time couples seek therapy, they aren’t even really looking for help. They seem to be looking for permission to get divorced. Waiting too long to get help can be detrimental.
Sometimes people just develop an attitude of acceptance that their marriage is bad and they assume everyone else’s is too. They assume they will just remain unhappily married. However, over time, they grow increasingly dissatisfied with life, and not just the marriage. Then, eventually, they decide they can’t take it anymore. However, by then, sometimes their feelings toward their spouse have become hardened and their behaviors toward their spouse have been quite unkind.
Other times, people say they just didn’t realize how bad things had gotten. Perhaps they assumed they were just busy raising the children or busy furthering their education. Or maybe they blamed their work schedules. But then, it hits them that their marriage isn’t what it used to be.
The stress of having an unhealthy marriage can cause problems in other areas of life. This can contribute to a cycle of ongoing stress and increased dissatisfaction in life. People who feel this way don’t make very good partners. And this causes the marriage to deteriorate even further.
The longer it takes for you to seek help for your marriage, the more damage will be done to the relationship. The more damage that has been done, the more work it will take to repair. If you are on the fence about seeking help, consider the risks and benefits. What are the consequences of seeking help? What might the consequences be of not seeking help?
If your spouse refuses therapy, seek therapy for yourself. Often, one person can make changes that help the relationship function better. There’s a variety of options available for treatment as well ranging from online resources, books and couples counseling.