You turn on the television, you watch the latest reality TV show including “Marriage Boot camp.” Couples go in, and within 24 to 48 hours their problems are fixed. The genie rubs the lamp, and they make a wish. They live happily ever after.
It is possible to solve a marital problem immediately, maybe even almost overnight. But some problems could take weeks, months, or years to solve. How fast you take care of a problem or overcome a challenge in your relationship is based on the nature of the problem in your relationship.
Empirical research studies have shown us that you can predict how long it may take to solve a challenge. Some challenges are duration based. For example, look at infidelity, or cheating, in a relationship. If the cheating is a one-time event and your partner is able to forgive you (or you are able to forgive your partner) then it usually takes between 9 to 12 months to heal. It could happen slightly faster, but remember we are human beings. When we are hurt, we need time to heal the emotional wounds. If you try and fix the situation sooner, there’s a higher likelihood you may relapse. Some emotional problems just take time. You should give it time to heal the emotional hurt.
Let’s take a look at a psychological challenge, for example, when one or more partners have depression, anxiety, or bi-polar disorder in the relationship. How long it takes in these circumstances depends on two factors:
- The severity of the disorder or disease.
- The degree of involvement of the spouse or family involved in helping this person heal.
So, for example, a client is chronically depressed in childhood. Whenever he tries to work as an adult, he could work for no more than four months before relapsing into a severely depressed state. He usually takes another three to four months just to muster up the energy and effort to work again. This took a significant toll on his work and family, specifically his wife. In this case, with the help of medication, setting up the right activities with his wife, and getting couples counseling, he is able to create a new normal for himself. The depression has not gone away, but he and his family are able to adapt to a new way of living. The onset of depression here was from childhood and lasted for decades.
Another client was depressed and withdrew from his family after losing his business six months ago. Here, the onset and severity of the depression was very different from the previous case. One could look at the earlier case as having a biologically and environmentally triggered event that caused the depression. In the second case, the loss of the business caused the depression, and within four months after therapy and with a specific set of tools and activities, the client was able to rebuild his life and the depression lifted.
Your marital problem is unique to your situation. You could be facing a communication problem or there could be a lack of sex and intimacy. These problems can be fixed, and they can be fixed fast. However, don’t be discouraged if it’s taking a little longer than usual. Honor the pain, suffering and the journey you are going through. There’s a reason you’re going through this right now. You and I cannot control or understand why it’s happening to you. However, if you put your head down and work through it , you can and will overcome your challenge.
No matter how long it lasts. I have no doubt that what you go through will be worth it. Take the time to heal. Don’t let your emotions drive you to search for short term solutions to fix your problems.