A strong, loving relationship is one of the most important sources of happiness. Our relationships give us support, companionship, and feelings of security. But even the most stable and happy marriages can hit a rocky period after a long period of contentment. It is common for couples to feel as though they are losing the spark after 10 to 15 years together. Below are some of the common (but solvable) problems couples have expressed and resolved in couples therapy after 10 plus years of marriage.
You feel like roommates
One of the most common problems of a happy or satisfactory relationship is the feeling that we are living with a companionable and comfortable roommate rather than a romantic partner. Keeping the romance alive in a marriage takes some effort. It’s important to keep in mind that although you are comfortable, we still need to put in an effort to make sure our spouse feels appreciated. Plan date nights, special times together and give yourself time to reconnect on a regular basis.
Your tolerance for one another has reduced
The first years of love are blanketed in romance. You and your partner’s less than desirable habits or personality traits were easily overlooked. But over the years two things can happen. First, the charm of your partners dissipates and instead become annoying. Second, each of you, in the comfortableness of your relationship can fail to even attempt to control the parts of yourself that can be difficult to live with.
Life’s stress has begun to take over
Several years after marriage, blessings such as children, career, and becoming homeowners can place a strain on your marriage. Financial obligations coming from your mortgage, yearly vacations, and raising children can occupy your attention and cause you to miss daily opportunities for appreciation and pleasure in the life you’ve built together.
Your conversations have become less intimate
Heart to heart conversations are crucial to maintaining a close intimacy with your partner. After years of marriage, you may feel you know everything about each other, however, I assure you this is not the case. After marriage and children, both partners experience several profound life transitions. Watching our children grow, making and losing friendships, and changing careers are all both scary and exciting. These issues should be discussed with your life partner in an intimate and meaningful way. Be sure to take time to reconnect and take care of the most important person in your life
Couples Therapy After 10 plus Years of Marriage
There are many things you can do to reconnect and bring the spark back into your marriage. It is also important to understand that the excitement of new love is not better than the kind of love that grows over years of building a life together. Our first (young love) is largely illusional and based on romantic ideals, while the later version is much more real and valuable and is absolutely worth fighting for.
Couples counseling for couples that have been together for 10+ years can be effective in helping address issues that can damage the relationship. Rather than allowing yourselves to grow apart, it is beneficial to re-examine who you both are now in your marriage and how you are going to move forward together. Spending time in counseling can help you reconnect and create a deeper sense of togetherness.
Dr. Gerald Brown is a therapist and life coach practicing in Statesville and Cornelius, North Carolina. He is within a short travel distance from Davidson, Mooresville, Huntersville, and North Charlotte. If you cannot travel to see Dr. Brown, he also provides therapy online.
You are welcome to call and book your first appointment or fill out my contact form and click Send.