I use Solution Focused Marriage counseling when providing couples counseling. Many of the clients I see for marriage counseling have a similar problem. You started off well and your relationship was solid. But then you had kids and things seemed to change. You found yourselves getting distant from each other and not spending as much quality time together. Maybe you start feeling your spouse isn’t attracted to you or interested in you anymore.
Things Get Off Track
One possible explanation for this is that when we have kids, life gets busy and we tend to forget about doing those small things we used to do. The communication changes too. When you were first dating or first got married you probably made a point to call your spouse just to say hi and let them know you were thinking about them. Later on, your phone calls may consist of “Don’t forget to pick up milk on your way home from work”. We get busy and forget to let our spouse know the things we appreciate about them but we don’t forget to tell them the things that annoy us.
This can leave our spouse feeling like we don’t appreciate them or value them. Then we notice that they don’t seem very affectionate with us anymore. Our sex lives suffer as a result. Most people aren’t very interested in sex with someone who doesn’t make us feel valued and desired.
Getting Back on Track
When this comes up in solution focused marriage counseling sessions, one of the first things I do is ask each of you what it is you like about the other person. I also go into how you first met and what first attracted you to each other. We talk about what you used to do in the beginning of your relationship to let your spouse know you were attracted to them and found them worthwhile.
Being reminded of the things you found attractive in your spouse is a first step to rebuilding your relationship. Being reminded of the small little things you used to do for your relationship helps you remember simple things you can do to get things back on track.
If you have a relationship that has gotten off track, solution focused marriage counseling can help. Solution Focused Counseling focuses on the things you’re doing right that you can do more often. It also helps you and your spouse identify small do-able things you can start doing right away that will help you as well.
Gary Watson is a Grand Rapids based marriage therapist. He specializes in helping couples rebuild relationships by helping you do the things that are most helpful in your relationship. After all, you were doing things right in the beginning or you wouldn’t have gotten married, right?