Instead of going to a lawyer to seek legal remedies over a turbulent relationship, more and more couples are resorting to couples counseling, to try and resolve their differences before things go out of hand.
If one partner is more dominant in a relationship, then the other person might not feel heard. This can lead to resentment building up at both ends. Relationship counseling facilitates better communication, and empathy and builds trust.
Though couples counseling is mostly used to address immediate issues, it can also be beneficial in a healthy relationship where both partners can use couples therapy to further strengthen connection, and improve interaction and intimacy.
Seeking help is not a sign of weakness or means your relationship is bad, rather it displays resilience and strength to take support when passing through difficult times. Here are seven signs in a relationship that couples can benefit most by speaking to a therapist.
- Constant bickering/fighting
Not surprisingly, arguments and disagreements are the main cause of contention and lead to couples feeling unhappy about their relationship. While it is completely normal to fight over trivial issues, constant bickering and arguing can lead to unhealthy relationship patterns.
Couples therapy can help by developing better ways of communication, as well as uncovering the underlying problems that could be triggering the continuous disagreements. Counseling pinpoints and addresses these issues and significantly improves relationships.
- Feel you are drifting apart
Over time, some relationships progress and grow closer while others go astray and both partners start feeling like strangers. Some common traits seen in couples as their bonds become distant are:
- Loss of admiration and fondness for each other
- Avoiding each other when in need
The good news is if both couples are willing to work together with a therapist, then all issues can be pinpointed and the relationship can be set back on track.
- Hiding secrets
Avoiding communication with your partner on important issues or pretending that everything is under control when it is exactly the opposite are all signs of intimate and emotional withdrawal between partners in a relationship.
Turning away from issues, rather than confronting them head-on is a tell-tale sign of a relationship falling apart, but one which can be best resolved by a relationship counselor who can work through unexpressed emotions to lead the pair to the recovery path.
- Avoid being in the same room
When you stay in one house, co-existing in every room can at times become boring or overbearing. While it is only natural to spend time on your own, starting to avoid your partner actively can lead to neglect and loneliness.
If you are going through this, a weekly couples therapy session can help re-evaluate your relationship and provide ways and means for both of you to go forward.
- You think everyone else’s partner is better
There must have been a lot of adoration for the person you have married at some point of time, but once you begin to compliment other people’s partners, it reflects criticism and shame for your other half and lowers their self-esteem.
Ignoring this is dangerous, especially when such situations occur in public. Speaking with a relationship counselor will help set ground rules for such behavior and teach you to communicate better with your partner without being cruel.
- Jealousy has crept in your relationship
Pangs of jealousy are a part of every relationship and considered normal, but when it causes partners to drift apart it is time to think about it seriously.
A good marriage and family counseling therapist can tell you if your fears are legitimate or if you are just trying to project your feelings onto your partner. Once you acknowledge that jealousy is an emotion you should discuss with your partner instead of sweeping it under the rug, things will get resolved in no time.
- Lower levels of intimacy
When your partner makes a move and you feel oblivious towards them or the desire is not as intense as before, then you have to figure out why you are not connecting romantically or physically any longer.
If the decline in intimacy or physical affection has been happening for a long time, there has to be a root cause behind it,which only a good licensed therapist can help connect the dots to your intimacy issues and rekindle your love life.
Where to find help?
There may not be any guide book for struggling relationships but there are definitely ways to improve your headspace when you feel your connection is liable to get disrupted.
Couples and relationship counselors are an excellent source of guide and support to empower couples and intimate partners to find a solution to their relationship roadblocks in a healing and helpful manner.
To help you find the right marriage therapy source, one should first understand the different types of couples therapy on offer.
A brainchild of the couple John and Julie Gottman, the method works on understanding the harmful behaviors that cause damage to a relationship. These could include criticism, contempt, stonewalling etc.
There are only about 450 licensed therapists around the globe who practice this technique, so finding one isn’t easy. For more information, visit the Gottman Method official website.
Online Cognitive Behavioral Therapy(CBT)
Online treatment through CBT is an excellent option to treat problems arising out of anxiety and depression as they can affect communication and evoke conflicts in the couple’s relationship.
CBT has also been proven to be extremely effective when practiced online. This can help you reduce costs, as well as solve any conflicting schedule issues between partners since remote therapy can be done from anywhere. For more information, visit Bestonlinetherapy.com’s list of couples therapy platforms.
Walker’s Model provides a behavioral approach to counseling for those couples who display fits of violent behavior in either one or both partners. Both couples and individual counseling is done to address and change this behavior.
Please contact the National Domestic Violence hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE(7233) if you know someone experiencing abuse.
Behavioral Couples Therapy
The National Institute of Health cites behavioral couples therapy as a treatment mode for those couples where at least one partner struggles with substance use disorder. This kind of treatment plan involves the understanding of one partner about the other partner’s illness and how best it can be managed.