Because couples therapists have a deep insight into everything about marital commitment and bliss, it is often assumed that they are immune to most of the tragedies that accompany the end of a relationship. But whatever the field of expertise, divorces come, as experienced Crystal Rice, therapist in a therapy center couple.
"Being a therapist helped me deal with the aftermath, but turned out to be less helpful in the throes of divorce," she says. If it served me anything, it was to make me stronger in an unhappy relationship, I felt obliged to make it work, even if my instinct told me that we were badly matched. Emotions are powerful and hard to bear, even when you know what you need to do with it. "
Three years after her divorce, she shares what she has learned and wants everyone to know how to keep a healthy relationship and when the time has come to stop it.
1 - Stop Avoiding Conflict
"I discovered that I was so careful not to pitch the ship that I had stopped being honest," she admits. I was just trying to maintain the status quo, while becoming more angry that my needs were not being met. Now she speaks frankly in any case, because evading difficult conversations can cause much sorrow and hurt in the long run.
2 - Discuss how you manage stress
If your partner and you react to periods of tension in a brutal way - if he / she rejects you, for example - while you prefer to strive towards well-being, be present for each other when things get tough Is almost impossible. The therapist has learned that this hodgepodge of styles can become the deadly pitfall of a relationship. "Knowing and discussing each other's style openly at the beginning of a relationship can help you to be more connected to each other," she says, not to mention that it will prevent you from being taken aback by the after.
3 - Do not leave your mutual friends when things get difficult
When she began to think seriously about divorce, she distanced herself from her friends and family. "Over the years, my friends had become our friends and I had the feeling that none of them could sympathize fully with me and support my decision because we had shared relationships," she says. And indeed, once the news was known, everyone was astounded, so she was even more isolated as a result of the divorce.
4 -Mange the space for yourself
She admits that she too quickly gave up a part of her personal space for the benefit of her relationship. "In a marriage, we often forget that our sense of identity has to be reflected somewhere in our environment," she says. In this case, we lose our sense of ourselves, which will certainly damage the relationship. Create a den that belongs to you or find a cafe, a shop, a bookstore or any other place to go when you need time for you. "
5 - Think about what you want from your relationship
When you begin to wonder if divorce is the solution, you spend a lot of time making a list of all the defects of your partner. But it was only when she wondered what she expected of the marriage - and why her partner no longer met her desiderata - that she realized she had to put an end to this relationship. "When you focus on divorce on what you really need in your partner instead of blaming it, it tells you whether or not that relationship is right for you. In addition, this approach prepares you for a successful relationship in the future. "
6 - It happens to lose family and friends
It is accepted that one loses his partner after his divorce, but to lose his friends and his family too? This experience helped our therapist to appreciate relationships (of all types) at a completely different level. "I've always heard taunts about the fact that true friendships last a lifetime or that your family should love you no matter what," she says. But relationships are complex and it is possible that some of your friendships end after your breakup.
Even if you do not spend as much time with them, remember what you like about your friends and forget everything else, advises Dr. Rice. In the end, it will minimize their impact on your life, "she concludes.