Would your relationship benefit from a tune-up?
Imagine your relationship is a car, and it’s been a while since your last oil change. You’ve noticed some strange noises coming from the engine that you haven’t heard before and a warning light appears on your dashboard. The air conditioning isn’t working. What would you do? You would probably call your nearest mechanic and book in for a tune-up.
Relationships also suffer from wear and tear – life, work, children, family, stress and finances can all get in the way of once-working partnerships. As a result, communication, sex, parenting and shared intimacy may begin to suffer.
So why is it so much harder for us to organise a tune-up for our relationship than our car?
Many people think that they have to have a major problem in their relationship before seeking counselling. Others believe that by seeking relationship counselling, they are admitting that their relationship is failing in some way. And then there is the unconscious fear that counselling will bring up things that we don’t want to look at or see, or that it will make the relationship unravel further.
A relationship tune-up with a counsellor will help you to work through the major and not-so-major problems that are keeping your relationship from functioning well before they become bigger issues. By making shared time with each other first and foremost, with no distractions in a confidential and safe space, you will make much faster progress than if you bombard your partner with a list of issues in your relationship that need to be fixed.
TUNE UP AND TUNE IN: How it works in practice
Attending with your partner is a good start. Your counsellor will ask each of you how you are experiencing your relationship and will ask you to share what you are finding difficult. The counsellor will then work with you as a couple to explore the underlying dynamics of the issues that are getting in the way of your relationship. By going through this process together, you are likely to emerge with a deeper appreciation of what you both need to do to get your relationship back on track.
Think of a tune-up as your relationship maintenance. By putting in the time and effort of undistracted time with your partner in this dedicated way, you will be giving yourselves the best possible opportunity to build a solid, healthy relationship that can more easily navigate the peaks and troughs of life.