In our last blog, Staff Clinician Alexandra Solomon, PhD, discussed the first “red flag” fight that many couples have — not being there as a support for their spouse. Today she explains the second — when one partner separates themselves from the relationship.
Red Flag #2: “I don’t believe in us.”
The first step to a whole host of marital problems is disengagement. When spouses become emotionally and physically disengaged, they can start to question their love for each other, wondering, “What are we all about?” In a happy marriage, couples create and work toward individual and relational goals, dreams, aspirations and hopes. Here are some tips for preventing disengagement or for finding your way back to a place of closeness and collaboration.
- Create a couple manifesto or mission statement. Update it regularly.
- Create short, medium and long-term goals for each individual and for the marriage.
- Create couple rituals (daily affirmations, weekly movie night, monthly dance class, annual vacation)
It’s important to notice that you and your partner are arguing about disengagement, and talk to each other about it. Remember that help is available. Couples therapy can bring you back together, and help to work through the things that may be separating you.
The next installment of “Stop the Fighting” will cover another “red flag” fight couples have — not living in the same reality.
Dr. Alexandra H. Solomon is a licensed clinical psychologist at The Family Institute at Northwestern University and an assistant clinical professor in the Department of Psychology at Northwestern University. Read more about Dr. Solomon on our website.
The Family Institute offers affordable, effective mental health counseling for families, couples and individuals in Evanston, Chicago, Northbrook and Westchester. We have a team of clinicians dedicated to helping couples strengthen their relationship. To learn more about our therapy and mental health services, please visit our website