Signs It’s Time For Couples Counseling
Being in relationships is hard. It’s always vulnerable to be close to another person, and sometimes it can feel like it’s not worth it. Going through a rough patch in any relationship is tough because the people we’re in relationships with are typically a huge part of our support system. Not only is it stressful to deal with conflict of any kind, but it’s scary to imagine losing someone important to you. That’s all magnified when it comes to romantic relationships. It can feel like there’s a wrench in your whole life when you’re having a hard time with your partner. It bleeds into everything – work, time with friends, your self-worth, even your finances. Relationships of all kinds thrive when the people in them feel connected. Relationships take work, and it’s up to us to figure out what work needs to be done to keep relationships fulfilling for everyone involved. That’s where couples counseling can come in.
When we think of couples counseling, we often think of a couple in crisis, or on the brink of a breakup. While couples counseling can be a great option for couples who are in the midst of a crisis, you don’t need to wait for something to happen before you go to counseling. When you’re proactive about getting help before you have a crisis, you can sometimes even avoid the crisis altogether. It definitely takes time and effort, but couples counseling serves many purposes.
Some of the benefits of couples counseling are:
- Improving communication
- Learning how to address conflict
- Seeing new perspectives
- Learning and practicing coping skills
- Having a neutral party as a sounding board
- Discovering each other’s love languages and how to care for one another
- Increased feelings of intimacy
But how do you know when it’s time to go to couples counseling in the first place? As mentioned above, you don’t need to wait for a hard time to start counseling with your partner. You can start couples counseling at any time. Here are some signs that it might be time for you to take the next step with couples counseling:
You don’t feel like you’re on the same team
When we think of a couple who is having problems, it can be helpful to imagine the issue isn’t partner vs. partner, but couple vs. the problem. When you’re on the same team, it can be easier to handle things that come your way. You can remind yourself that no matter what happens, you have each other’s backs. When you start to feel disconnected from your partner, it can start to feel like you’re no longer a team. If you’re feeling like you and your partner aren’t on the same team, couples counseling can help you right the ship.
You’re looking up articles like this one
Sometimes you already know the answer. If you’re looking up articles trying to decide if it’s time to go to couples counseling, then it’s time. The right time for counseling is whenever you decide it is. If it’s on your mind, it’s probably a good idea to get the ball rolling. You might know in your gut that it’s time, so listen to that feeling.
There has been infidelity or betrayal in the relationship
Sometimes there is a serious reason to start couples counseling, and one of the big ones is when there’s a betrayal. Often, this means infidelity, but it can be any sort of violation of boundaries. When you feel betrayed by your partner, it can be so lonely. You don’t feel like you can rely on them, but they’re an important part of your support system so you feel even more helpless. Couples counseling can be critical here. It’s actually possible to grow closer after betrayal, but it takes time and it takes work.
You want to feel closer to one another
Remember when your relationship was in it’s first stages, and you were so excited to be around each other all the time? That closeness in the beginning of relationships doesn’t always last, and it can be painful to realize it is no longer there. Couples counseling can help you reconnect with your partner so you can feel that sense of closeness once again.
You want to improve your sex life
Intimacy comes in many forms in relationships. Your sex life may be an important form of intimacy for you and your partner. Stress and conflict can change your sex drive and make sex seem like more of a chore than an emotional experience. Some couples have different sex drives or are experiencing changes in sex drive, which can be confusing and emotional. You never want to feel like your partner doesn’t want you, so tension in the bedroom can spill over into other areas of your life. Couples counseling can help you rediscover how you’d like to be intimate with one another.
You want to get ahead of any future issues
Attending couples counseling isn’t a guarantee of a future without problems in your relationship. However, couples counseling sessions can give you the coping skills to deal with issues as they come up so they don’t completely derail you. It’s okay to attend couples counseling off and on over time when things come up that you want to deal with, or you can go just to get ahead of any future issues.
If you’re considering couples counseling, you probably have your own reasons, and they’re totally valid. Your situation is not hopeless, and you deserve to have support and care while you learn how to communicate and connect with one another on a deeper level. Get in touch with us today to see how we can help your relationship.
-Brice N Sanner, LMFT