Making the choice to go to couples counseling is a big step. It involves admitting that things could be better in your relationship, which is tough to do and scary to admit. Additionally, if you aren’t familiar with what therapy is all about, it can feel mysterious and confusing. The idea of seeing a couples therapist can sit on the back burner for quite a while, thinking that it may be a good idea, but also feeling unsure of how to proceed or whether your specific problems can even be helped. Couples counseling is always a great option because relationships can always improve, HWP has trained providers to navigate growth areas and get you unstuck. Here are five common issues that couples often seek counseling for and that can definitely be helped.
1. Trust has been broken.
One of the most common reasons for seeking couples therapy is the need for help in overcoming a major breach of trust. Perhaps it was infidelity; perhaps it was an emotional affair; perhaps it was a series of lies or deception about money. In any case, the rebuilding of the foundation of trust can often be helped by establishing a forum in which both parties are free to express their vulnerability and where healing and forgiveness can take place.
2. Arguments are more frequent.
Do you notice that the rhythm of your daily life is becoming more conflicted? Frequent petty arguments can make you feel like you’re drowning and blowouts can leave a lot of drama and pain in their aftermath. An increase in arguments can be short-lived, with one of you going through something tough personally, but it could also indicate significant problems under the surface that aren’t being dealt with appropriately.
3. Communication is lacking.
Maybe overt conflict isn’t the problem, but you constantly feel misunderstood or worse, ignored. Luckily, one of the most tangible outcomes of couples therapy is an increase in healthy communication. A counselor can equip you with tools that will help you connect, hear, and understand each other much better.
4. You feel stuck in bad patterns.
There is no limit to the number of patterns that partners develop in daily life. Maybe a dysfunctional and unsatisfying pattern is as simple as one spouse always complaining to the other, but never bothering to reciprocate. Or maybe it’s more deep-seated, like a long-standing division of household chores that feels unfair. Either way, it is possible to change these patterns for healthier ones.
5. Emotional intimacy is gone.
It’s not uncommon for two people to feel like the spark is gone after spending years together, and that they become more roommates than soul mates. The daily grind or a challenging season of life has begun to eclipse the ability to connect, and it’s simply a matter of re-prioritizing. Other times, it can be more insidious and represent two partners who have quietly been drifting apart and have even learned to get their needs met elsewhere. Reconnecting and renewing the bond that drew you together in the first place can be exciting and encouraging.
Therapist Recommended Books
Kristi Schwegman is a psychotherapist specializing in helping couples develop healthy relationships, whether dating, engaged, or married. She also draws from her Christian-based approach to lead individuals in becoming aware of the limiting beliefs that can get them stuck.
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