A relationship or marriage is not always a bed of roses. Sometimes it hits the rocks, and it can be hard to admit, let alone seek couple counseling. It is normal to experience difficulties and conflicts in a relationship, but how you handle it is crucial in how well you bounce back to your happy life.
Couples therapy can salvage your relationship or marriage even when it seems dead. Here are a few signs that you and your better half need couples counseling.
1. You have communication issues
One sign that you need couples therapy is when you aren’t talking to each other. You might find yourselves not talking for days or arguing all the time. This is one of the signs of broken communication in a relationship. A therapist can facilitate new ways of communicating with each other before your communication lines deteriorate entirely.
2. Negative communication
Negative communication is very harmful to a relationship. According to couples counseling experts at jimbrillon.com, negative communication involves anything that makes your partner feel shamed, disregarded, disrespected, judged, insecure, vulnerable, or leaves them with the urge to withdraw from the conversation. Communication is also about how you talk to your partner( tone of communication). Negative communication can quickly lead to emotional abuse, violence, or nonverbal communication, so it’s best to seek couples therapy when in such a situation.
3. Trust has been broken
If one of the partners is unfaithful or has been deceptive somehow, the trust is broken between you two. The affected partner experiences extreme hurt and feels betrayed. Trust is necessary for the thriving of a healthy relationship. After betrayal, learning to trust your partner again can be a painful and slow process, and it is difficult to do alone. A couples counseling session provides a platform to explore betrayal and vulnerability, pour your heart out, and consider rebuilding the trust and moving forward.
4. You have been through a challenging, life-changing event
The loss of a job, loved one, a health crisis, disability, accident, or any other major setback in life can make it hard to keep a relationship intact. Emotional turmoil or trauma can be hard to deal with, and the stress starts to overflow into each other. A therapist can equip you with ways to get through the difficult time and strengthen your bond while at it.
5. Your sex life has shifted significantly
It is not abnormal for your sex life to taper off after being together for a while, but significant changes in the bedroom signify a problem. And with busy lives, taking care of kids, you may forget to spend quality intimate time with your partner and start feeling like roommates. If you feel completely disconnected with your partner and even romantic dates or actions don’t work it out, a therapist can help you identify what’s missing and reconnect again.
6. Ongoing relationship issues
Most relationships have those big arguments that carry over for months without getting a satisfying resolution. It could be incompatible sex drives, differing views on family finances, childbearing and rearing philosophies, etc. A couples therapist can help you two understand each other and find common ground.
7. Disagreements over finances
One of the major reasons why couples disagree in a relationship or marriage is due to finances. It is common for a couple to disagree about handling their finances, critical financial decisions, and such issues can escalate very quickly. At times financial disagreements occur due to one partner not disclosing everything about their investments. Couples can talk about their financial concerns and frustrations through couples counseling sessions and agree on how to handle their financial decisions.
8. Disagreements over parenting styles
Kids form a complex layer in a relationship. But regardless of how a couple loves their kids, they can disagree on matters raising them, schooling them, and any other child responsibilities. According to a study, 75% of couples experienced reduced marital satisfaction after getting their first child. Parenting has never been easy, and couples counseling can help you if you have disagreements over parenting styles and so forth.
9. Difficulties with an extended family
At times, conflicts among couples do not arise within the relationship but due to outside factors directly impacting the relationship. For instance, difficulties with an extended family, including parents, relatives, friends, coworkers, etc. These kinds of relationships can be healthy or unhealthy depending on how you relate outside the relationship.
Your partner may feel like toxic people are interfering with your relationship, or certain boundaries have been crossed. A couples counselor can help you understand the situation, how to set healthy boundaries, ease any insecurities, tension, or outside issues affecting the relationship.
10. When you have difficulties in a blended family
If you or your partner has kids from a previous relationship, you might be unable to handle the challenges of raising a blended family. It can be challenging to get through the earlier stages of co-parenting and dealing with exes. A couples therapist can help you identify your parenting differences, address them, determine the roles of each parent, and how to accommodate the new identities in the family.
11. When your partner withholds affection as punishment
There is something known as silent or cold treatment in a relationship. At times your partner may get angry over some issue and withdraw affection as a form of punishment. That is very unhealthy in a relationship or marriage because if one partner acts like a parent or punisher, the relationship is unbalanced. That is a reason enough to seek couples counseling and understand the healthy ways of dealing with relationship conflicts.
12. When you feel like your partner needs to change
Changing your partner is not easy. But at times, you feel like the relationship would be better or okay if your partner just changed their behavior. This is where a couples therapist comes in. They can help you understand who you are, what you want, and how you want your partner to behave. There are better ways of relating to each other and healthier ways of imposing the change.
The bottom line
Getting through a relationship or marriage can be challenging when you don’t know how to deal with relationship issues. But if both partners are committed, they are open to compromise and implement changes for each other for a happier relationship.