DR. CELESTE CATANIA-OPRIS, PH.D., LMFT
When we first meet our partner, we could not imagine life without that person. As the years progress, there are moments when things can become complicated and challenging. The love is still there, but sometimes it is hard to feel it. Why is that?
People are literally exhausted nowadays. The to-do list seems never-ending and there are not enough hours in the day to complete everything we need to do. While we are tired and stressed out, we may feel as if our partner is not doing enough. Perhaps you don’t always feel appreciated for everything you do? Odds are that both of you are feeling the same way. Sometimes even being intimate may feel like another chore because you are so tired.
Communicate with your partner. Tell your partner what you desire, what you need, and what you envisioned your relationship would look like after all these years. It is possible that your partner has been wanting the same things, but didn’t know how to tell you or was afraid of how you would react.
Every individual has a different idea of how to raise a child. Even though your styles may be similar, they can slightly differ. This could mean disagreeing on which school your child should go to, an appropriate curfew time, or how to discipline your child. In today’s world, this can also include whether or not to put your child on medication to focus better in school or to sleep better at night; topics commonly disagreed upon by couples. These topics can add negativity to a solid relationship.
Remind yourselves that you both want the best for your child. Kids watch you, they hear you, and they learn from you, so be the example you want them to learn from. This includes the way you interact with others, the way you handle stress, and the way you live each day.
As we get older, we have more financial responsibilities, especially if children are present. This can be stressful as health insurance, bills, and weekend activities with the family appear to increase every year. This can cause a strong, stable couple to turn on one another. When people are in a bind and stressed out, it is easier to point fingers and to place blame on someone else, which typically ends up being your partner. This can lead to examining your partner’s spending habits or questioning if your partner needs to bring in more money monthly. These are “hot” topics, which can cause a strain within a relationship, especially if one does not feel appreciated for what they already do and contribute.
Sometimes you may be at a high point in your relationship and everything feels right and great. Other times, you may hit a low point. During these times, make it a point to confront your issues head on. Do not be scared or nervous to talk to your partner. It may be uncomfortable to say what you are thinking and feeling, but it may be worse if the issues are not tackled or dealt with.
Your love is real and wonderful in so many ways. Cherish it and nurture it and when you need to, remind yourselves why you initially fell in love because that reason has kept you two together to this day.
Celeste Catania-Opris, Ph.D., LMFT, offers therapeutic services to individuals, couples, and families. Visit www.TherapyForModernHousewives.com.