For the baby boomer and older generations, asking for help or showing any sign that you need advice regarding your relationship was largely frowned upon. Perfection was the order of the day, especially in more conservative households. The 80’s and 90’s saw the rising of “Agony Aunts”, who gave advice to anonymous people over the radio, or took letters from people for weekly newspaper publication. These days, with millennials starting to move into and through their thirties, and Gen Z’s entering their twenties, it seems that we’re in an age where sharing and openness has become more commonplace. While there is still some stigma attached to asking for help, it is far more common now for people to be in therapy and to receive coaching or counselling, as well as for them to adopt a more open-minded view towards navigating the highs and lows of life with a little bit of help along the way.
The reason why relationships can be difficult to manage in the long term, is because they are constantly evolving, as each individual in the partnership goes through their own growth process. Think of the person you were five years ago, compared to who you are today. For many, that person is unrecognizable, especially if you are in your twenties or early thirties, which are formative years for career and relationships. It’s important to remember that things will change, that we’re constantly moving towards newer interests and goals, and we have to remain flexible to change at all times. If you can keep in mind that your relationship will need adjustment as you adjust and grow,, then you’ll be more open to dealing with the challenges that couples face throughout the various stages of life.
There’s a big difference between a cry for help, and asking for help. Some people choose to use social media as an outlet, venting frustrations and ultimately acting against their better judgement in an attempt to get attention. This is not the way to go if you’d like to get to the root of the issue. Asking for help includes talking to the right people, making sure you confide in those you can trust, and having a rational conversation about your challenges and problems. If you can learn to ask for help rather than falling into the other trap, you’ll be one step closer to resolving the issue.
For many of us, leaning on a family member or close friend for relationship advice is an easy go-to, but when it comes to some of the more challenging aspects of growing as a couple, you may not be able to share as freely with your loved one without possibly breaking confidentiality between you and your partner. Being able to speak to someone who is objective and is not emotionally involved, like a relationship coach, for example, can make all the difference. However, working with a relationship coach is very different to working with a therapist, a coach is not there to give you advice, a coach holds space for you and your partner to move towards the future that you want to create together. A relationship coach can help to give you a space to speak freely about your relationship, your shortcomings and goals as individuals, and give you a platform to get to know your partner on a deeper level, in order to facilitate a transition into a new chapter for you both.
Relationship coaching, especially Enneagram coaching, gives you the chance to get to know the motivations of your partner on a more intimate level, so you can adjust your reactions to certain triggers. It can be a beautiful journey to take together as a couple, and can make all the difference to the long term success of your relationship. Asking for help when it feels like your relationship is in a slight lull can be the perfect way to swing the momentum in another direction. It doesn’t have to be a source of shame or fear, and can be something that you are proud of as a couple. Taking charge of your challenges is a great way to transcend them.
If you’d like to learn more about Enneagram Coaching, and are particularly interested in a coach that specialises in relationships, Karen-Sophia is a great place to start. She recently launched an online relationship course geared for couples (with an early bird special if you register before the end of the year), which may be a great way for you to strengthen your relationship going into the new year.
Written By: Karen-Sophia Editorial