The Relational Ditch

The Relational « Ditch »

I love him, I love him not …

The relational “DITCH” is a term to define the moment when almost all couples reach the breaking point where sexual and/or marital difficulties take too much place and breakup becomes possible. This phase is normal and desirable, as it pushes individuals to become better people and above all, better partners. Are you ready to get out of your “DITCH”?

We often hear that the key to success in a relationship is communication and especially when the couple is going through marital difficulties. On the other hand, we quickly realize in therapy that communication is not really an issue. It is the emotional balance we lack in managing our differences that is the main source of difficulties in a long-term relationship. What you need to know is that each individual has different ways of reacting to these difficulties by the type of alliance they use in their conflict. It is these reactions in particular that can generate repetitive bickering and emotional gridlocks or dead ends within the couple.

Breaking up too early?

Today, one in two unions ends in separation. Indeed, the legal procedures of divorce are simplified more and more. However, even if this process becomes simpler, the decision to end a marriage is however not as easy to make. This decision should not be taken lightly or taken on a “whim”, because it involves taking the risk of regretting it. Sometimes the threat of a breakup is a strategy to create change in the relationship. You’re mistaken to use this strategy if your integrity is not behind this intention!

Currently, individualism and the quest for personal growth take over for many people. We try to be satisfied and think of ourselves above all. Which in itself is not bad. However, we notice that couples are consumed and discarded when they are no longer satisfied. These days, we have a lot of expectations for our partner, including being our best friend, our lover, our supportive shoulder, our care-taker, etc. In this sense, in past years, compromises were way more common than in today’s modern relationships, as options and opportunities “seem” to be plentiful, at least on the surface. Communities also use to fulfill some of those aspects. Now, couples are more isolated and rely more on their partner for different aspects of life. Which increases the burden and expectations on each other.

At the same time, compromises are also a great source of distress in couples who last over time. Do you know the expression: “Putting water in your wine”? After 11 years of watering it down… the wine doesn’t taste so good anymore. To compromise or not, it isn’t the root of the problem, as many will lead you to believe. The difficulty of maintaining one’s personal integrity while relating to others and the integrity of one’s partner is at the heart of the marital difficulties of our time.

When you get into a relationship with someone, you often have this idea of ​​a linear relationship, without pitfalls, enriching and above all, satisfying. However, any relationship contains its fair share of frustrations and tensions, but does not necessarily involve separation or divorce.

How to get out of it?

First of all, you have to ask yourself what enriches your couple. What can make your relationship cross all these pitfalls? Taking a step back to analyze the situation is the number one step towards the success of transforming the issue. You have to wonder how and why this problem arose within the couple. First and foremost, self-confrontation. Pointing out your partner’s faults will inevitably lead to your downfall. How did I contribute to the dynamics of our couple? You also have to be honest with yourself and name the things you want the most. Above all, do not jump to conclusions too quickly, thinking that if there are gaps between you and your partner, you must leave. It requires putting into question our own shortcomings and recognizing how they affected our partner. Breaking down the situation in order to face it as a couple.

To make sense of this very pivotal time, you have to see the situation as a challenge and not as a rocky mountain to climb. Take the example of a video game or the Super Mario Bros. effect. The hero must pass through several obstacles in order to reach his ultimate quest. When we lose the game, we start over by learning from our mistakes, until we succeed in achieving our goal, because we see video games as a challenge. This concept applies very well to relationships. Indeed, seeing marital difficulties as challenges to be overcome, makes it possible to give meaning to this difficult period and pushes individuals to make personal growth by facing long-standing personal insecurities. Taking a step back from the situation to find out what caused the difficulties and promoting dialogue as a couple, is what to do in order to find all possible solutions. Therefore, applying these techniques to overcome the difficulties are all steps to be taken in order to get out of this situation. Above all, we must not give up. After all, you are the hero of your own adventure!



étudiante sexologie

Author for our sexcoupletherapy blog



Audrey Labelle

Studying in a Bachelor of Sexology