The idea of couples counseling can be scary. If you are struggling with this decision, one thing to keep in mind is that every relationship has its ups and downs. There are several signs that you and your partner may need to see a therapist. Here are some things you need to know.
Problems in a Relationship
Most people start considering couples therapy after going through relationship-threatening challenges. Most of the problems that occur in a relationship are a result of poor communication, infidelity, and difficulties around sex, among other things. Such problems can cause couples to be stuck in painful dynamics that keep getting repeated.
Some people are able to solve their problems by talking them through. Things only get complicated when couples can’t communicate properly. For example, the situation can get so bad that every discussion turns into a heated argument. When that happens, therapy becomes the only reasonable option.
Couples therapy is quite popular nowadays. Studies show that about 49% of couples go for counseling at some point in their relationship. But what exactly is couples therapy?
Couples therapy is a form of psychotherapy that focuses on helping couples overcome challenges, get a better understanding of their relationship, and develop better ways of relating to each other. Couples therapists use specific therapeutic methods and interventions to help support a couple’s goals.
When to Go to Couples Therapy
Are you wondering whether couples therapy can help make things better in your relationship? It probably will, that’s if you take it seriously. There are several issues that indicate that you and your spouse or partner could potentially benefit from seeing a therapist.
Communication is one of the most important things in a relationship. How to know if you need couples therapy? If you and your partner are not able to communicate well with each other, things can turn sour quickly. Do you constantly feel misunderstood or ignored? Or maybe you don’t understand what’s happening with your significant other emotionally anymore. Things can get so bad that you start feeling like you are living with a stranger. One of the most notable improvements couples see when they start going to therapy is increased communication. The quality of communication also becomes better. An experienced and skilled couples therapist can help you connect and understand each other better.
Constant Fights and Arguments
This is one of the key signs you need couples therapy. If you haven’t seen eye to eye for a while, your interactions can become more conflict-oriented. Maybe it started out as constant small arguments, but now you have huge blowouts. This is a sign that things are getting worse, and the only way to get out of such a predicament is to seek help. Constant arguing can create a rift between you and your partner. Therefore, you must ensure the problem is addressed before things get more complicated.
Another case when couples therapy is necessary. Infidelity is one of the major causes of breakups. Therefore, if the thought of stepping out on your partner has crossed your mind, you must seek help. Perhaps you are thinking of sleeping with someone else, or you are emotionally drawn to another person. Infidelity in any form can be quite harmful. It will damage the trust between you and your partner, and once that happens, it can be difficult to recover. This is why you must look for a counselor as soon as possible. They will establish a space where both of you are free to express your vulnerability.
Changes in Your Sex Life
Sexual issues can be a sign of relationship problems. They can also make other problems worse. This is why they are at the forefront of most couples’ complaints. Sometimes the changes in your sex life can be so noticeable that it’s frustrating. Maybe you went from regular intimacy to none at all. This can lead to some serious frustration. Some partners use sex as a bargaining tool. Whatever problem you are dealing with, you should find a counselor and have it addressed.
Fear of Communicating With Each Other
Sometimes the beauty of relationship counseling is the space it creates. Once you go to counseling, you will feel safe and supported. That can encourage you to bring up things you were failing to tell your partner. An experienced therapist with a warm presence can help you work through the fear of communicating with your partner.
A Betrayal Has Occurred
Being betrayed by your partner hurts. It can have a huge impact on your marriage or relationship. Lots of couples go their separate ways when one has betrayed the other. You may not think of going for therapy in the wake of something so tragic happening, but you should. Counseling can help restore your bond in a relationship.
You Feel Something is Wrong
It’s not always when you can pinpoint the exact cause of your relationship problems. Sometimes you can just feel that something is wrong without knowing what it is exactly. This is a common thing. Maybe you feel that you and your partner are more like roommates than lovers. Therapy can help you figure out what’s going on so you can bring the spark back into your relationship.
When is Couples Therapy Not Appropriate?
Unfortunately, it’s not always that couples therapy will work its magic. Sometimes it may not be the best option.
Domestic Violence Situations
If your partner is abusing you, this is not something that can be solved in therapy. In some instances, couples struggling with domestic violence are urged to attend individual counseling first. However, this depends on the extent of the abuse. In some cases, you are better off being safe than trying to fix things.
You Already Checked Out of The Relationship
One thing to keep in mind is that a couples therapist will not do the work for you. They just create an environment where you and your partner can work things out together. This is why couples therapy will not work when one or both partners have already checked out of the relationship. Couples need to be committed to making positive changes for counseling to work.
There’s Emptiness Between the You and Your Partner
If there are no emotions left, the therapist may find it impossible to revive the passion. Sometimes, when things have turned cold, you may need to make the hard decision to go your separate ways. Only then can you achieve healing.
Are you dealing with any of the problems listed above? If so, you should consider going for counseling. A therapist can help you work things out with your partner so you can make progress in your relationship. If you are hesitant to go for counseling, remember that whatever problems you are having are not unique to you. Lots of couples deal with the same problems, and a great percentage go for counseling to fix them.