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Meeting Life Transitions and Challenges as a Couple

Marriage counseling,counseling for life transitions,counseling for married couples,couples counseling,marriage therapist,marriage counselor Fayetteville NC,best couples therapist near me,

Meeting Life Transitions and Challenges as a Couple


In this age of uncertain changes, e.g., new jobs, birth, parenthood, moving, or retirement, adjusting to transition can be difficult for any marriage. While there are positive transitions, there are also negative events that can be the breeding ground for stress, confusion, and conflict. Whether positive or negative, these transitions have one thing in common – change.

Life transitions and challenges recognize no season and they can happen to any couple. These events can be an opportunity for a couple to evaluate and take a new course of action, which can also be filled with hope and excitement as you look to a new horizon. On the other hand, any change can also throw a couple into an unknown sphere, and anything unknown is scary and uncomfortable for many.

Spouses face their own stress differently. While women tend to talk, men tend to keep to themselves. Being aware of these differences can help minimize the tension between men and women, preventing harm to the relationship. The changes cannot always be foreseen, but couples have a choice in how to process the stress. With professional help, you can be assisted in how to adjust to change through times of transition.


Navigating Life Transitions in Marriage

Life transitions and challenges are like tides than can overturn even the most solid of marriages. Over the course of time, couples can expect to be confronted by a significant amount of change that can test their relationship. Each transition goes through the grieving process, that of acknowledging and letting go in order to move forward. For example, letting go of singleness to get married or letting go of a position to retire from your job.

Each couple goes through transitions in their own unique way. A couple may find transitioning to married life stressful, while others may look forward to having a home and family. Some couples may feel anxious about uprooting the family and relocating to another country, while others may feel excited to welcome the change as an opportunity for development. Many couples may also be confused with their feelings and unaware that they are going through a temporary phase called life transition.

It is common for couples to get stuck in the cyclone of emotions after experiencing a major life transition. While there are many opportunities to adjust to change, the pressure to do well can be overwhelming, especially when you are busy adjusting to a new chapter of your life. It is not surprising why many couples continue to struggle through life transitions and challenges on their own without truly addressing their emotions.

Whatever stressor or life upheaval is going on in your marriage, it can put a strain on your relationship. It can either make or break your marriage. The important thing to remember is that it is not about what life-changing situation is confronting your marriage. Rather, it is more about how you confidently meet the change to produce a beneficial outcome and to transform you into a stronger and closer couple who is better prepared for what life throws your way.


Life Transitions and Challenges for Better or for Worse

Going through life transitions can be stressful for anyone but can be much more difficult for a married couple. Regardless of the circumstances surrounding the transition, they are usually packed with intense emotions and distressing feelings. They can cause additional turmoil and hardships in addition to the typical challenges couples have each day of their married life. What complicates matters are the two sets of opinions, beliefs, and experiences couples may lay on the table as each one needs support in different ways.


Experts suggest there are tricky marriage transitions that can put the relationship of any couple into personal, emotional, physical, financial, and even spiritual crisis. This includes:


  • The birth of baby
  • Changing or losing a job
  • Relocation
  • Buying/selling a house
  • Serious illness
  • Caring for an aging parent
  • Death in the family
  • Infidelity
  • Divorce
  • Empty nest
  • Retirement


Transitions can be planned, predicted, unexpected, or inherited. Some happen without warning, such as accidents, calamities, or death. Regardless of how they came to be, transitions can be life-altering, causing couples to experience a myriad of feelings, including shock, anger, anxiety, depression, discomfort, withdrawal, and low self-esteem. They may feel helpless, overwhelmed, and hopeless amidst an unknown situation.

The stress felt during life transitions can take a toll on a couple’s daily functioning. Not only can behavioral and emotional health issues impair them, but a couple facing a big change may often complain of headaches, have difficulty sleeping or eating well, or engage in substance and alcohol abuse. A major life stress or change may also lead a spouse to engage in reckless or dangerous behavior, withdraw from family and friends, or worse, they may resort to self-harming activities.

When life transitions and challenges prove difficult, stressful, and threaten the stability of your relationship, it is important to remember that embracing them as a couple can bring maturity and strength. Understanding how you can work together, rely on each other for support, and be prepared as a couple can help you survive in times of crisis.


With the professional care of a counselor, you can face a crossroad of any sort in life with complete ease. Gradually you can be able to move through life transitions as you experience the following stages:


  • Acceptance of the change
  • Letting go of the past and moving on
  • Feeling hopeful about the future
  • Increased level of self-esteem
  • Development of optimistic perspective of life


Meeting the Big Changes as a Couple

A committed relationship is expected to experience life transitions and challenges along the way. Successfully navigating them as a couple can be difficult, especially in certain situations. This may include events, such as when you become parents for the first time, or one of you loses your job, or you become a caretaker for a parent, or one of you has an illness.

Transitions are a natural part of life. They can be scary, exciting, unexpected, and adventure-filled. Through it all, there is only one constant you can count on – change. With change comes emotion. Whether good or bad, your emotions may include joy and excitement, as well as anxiety, stress, depression, etc.

What makes the difference? It is in making a positive investment in your relationship to know how to meet life transitions/challenges and being empowered to create an enduring marriage or relationship through marriage/couples counseling. Whether change is happening to you, your partner, or to your relationship, seek the help you need in traversing and adjusting to change with as little disruption as possible. Consider the expertise of the right fit therapist independently contracted with Carolina Counseling Services – North Fayetteville Office – Fayetteville, NC.

Life transitions and challenges can effect change in your relationship. It can be positive, or it can cause unspeakable pain and grief. During this time, you need a skilled and trusted professional by your side. Feel free to give CCS – North Fayetteville Office – Fayetteville, NC a call to schedule an appointment. By doing so, you and your spouse can be assisted in hurdling the challenges, and ultimately to thrive and be closer as a couple during uncertain or difficult times.

Serving Areas: Carolina Counseling Services

Counties: Cumberland, Bladen and Sampson Counties, NC
Areas: Fayetteville NC, Ft Bragg NC, Pope Field NC, Sliver City NC, Linden NC, Autryville NC, Bunnlevel NC, Erwin NC, Dundarrach NC, Rex NC,and Wade, NC
Zip Codes: 28311, 28395, 28390, 28356

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Carolina Counseling Services – North Fayetteville Office, Fayetteville, NC

422 McArthur Road, Suite 2
FayettevilleNC 28311

Our Mailing Address:

PO BOX 9909
Fayetteville, NC 28311

Choose your Therapist

  • Becky Clark, MSW, LCSW

    Specializes in: (Ages 18+) Anxiety, Depression, Individuals, Couples, Geriatrics, Criminal Justice, Stress Management, Loss and Grief related to death, disability, divorce, deployment, “empty nest”, retirement and other major life transitions
    Insurance: BCBS, Tricare, Medicare, and Cash

    Credit Cards: Visa, Mastercard, Discover and American Express

    Location: Fayetteville, NC