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  • Writer's pictureFiona Murray

For Couples

Most couples come to counselling once they have tried everything else and feel so stuck that they think talking to a third party or breaking up are their only options.

In fact, many couples could work together long before that point to find solutions to any difficulties, if they remember two simple rules: assume the best of the other person and keep trying even when it gets hard!

Assume the Best of One Another It’s important to understand that your partner probably means the best. Even if they piss you off something awful, their intentions were likely pure. It is necessary to maintain the assumption that your partner — however flawed and irritating they seem at times — had the best results in mind because if you assume your partner is doing their best, it is less likely there will be blaming and disappointment and there will be an active engagement to resolve issues as they arise since you know you both have each other’s best interests in mind. Remember “the best” doesn’t mean perfection – it just means that they are giving the situation everything they can at that moment in time.

Don’t Ever Stop Trying Happiness can be a kind of trap, because it comes in short bursts. It’s like watching a football game with non-stop scoring. It’s great for a while, then it becomes boring. You have to strive for contentedness, which is a continuous state of mind, and one that feels doable. Being happy comes with pressure. It makes it sound like it’s a partner’s job to keep you happy but it’s actually not. The unavoidable piece is just the commitment to trying and putting your relationship first rather than tending to it when you have time. It’s doing things like being generous, showing appreciation, and saying thank you more than you probably are.

So doing those two things, experimenting with how they feel, might mean that you both get better at problem solving and ultimately that’s what couples’ counselling is all about.

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