Relationship distress is normal from time to time. However, if it’s on an ongoing basis, it can hurt both partners’ physical and mental wellbeing. And this will negatively affect their children. Let’s face it. Heightened conflicts lead to things being said that we later regret. Emotional distance can leave you feeling stranded and desperate for connection, security, and safety.
The lack of trust and commitment leads to toxic interactions that push you away from your loved one instead of building a bridge back to each other. Fortunately, research studies have shown that couples therapy can lead to positive changes for 70 percent of couples. And these changes last. However, most couples don’t look at scientific or solutions based on extensive research to improve the quality of their relationship.
Here are a few facts:
- More than 30 percent of couples take an education program on premarital relationship.
- 19 percent of couples go to couples counseling and only 37 percent worked with a professional counselor before signing the divorce papers.
- Most couples wait for almost six years to seek professional help for their problems.
One of the common reasons why this happens is the stigma against therapy. Here are a few examples of how it can play out:
- Going to couples therapy means that we are not strong enough or capable to solve our own problems. There must be something wrong in our marriage.
- Avoiding admitting or confronting problems or pretending that issues don’t exist. This leads to emotional disconnection, nasty fights or having a secret affair.
- Convincing yourself that your partner is the real problem. So why go to therapy when you have already identified the problem? Remember, all relationships require two people, therefore, you are involved.
- Believing that love is effortless. If you are struggling, then it was never meant to be. You have to put some effort to keep the relationship on track.
- Bringing up difficult issues in your relationship will be hard in couples’ therapy. However, failing to pursue couples’ therapy when some underlying issues and emotions are destroying your emotional connection and wellbeing can create bigger and serious obstacles to overcome.
Here are a few signs you need to go to couples counseling:
1. You keep fighting
According to best essays, forgive and forget is a common mantra in the 21st century. However, it’s easier said than done. If you can’t have a conversation without fighting, you need to learn how to communicate effectively. Couples are always going to fight. But there are healthy and unhealthy ways to fight. If you are always fighting over the same issues, talking to a professional might be a great way to solve problems.
2. You are afraid to talk
When it’s frightening to bring up issues such as money, sex, or annoying little habits, you need to go to couples counseling. Your therapist’s job is to help you become clear about the problems affecting your relationship and to help you figure out how to communicate with your partner.
3. You are not talking
In most cases, relationship challenges are caused by challenges in communication. A therapist can help in figuring out the best ways to communicate with each other. It’s difficult to get the relationship going when communication has deteriorated.
4. Withholding affection as punishment
Some partners get angry over small things and withhold affection. They’ll even give their partners the silent treatment. If a partner starts acting like a parent, there’ll be a lack of balance in the relationship.
5. Keeping secrets
We all have a right to privacy. However, when you start keeping secrets from each other, something is wrong.
6. Having an affair
Contemplating or having an affair shows that you want something different from what you have at the moment. The marriage can survive if both of you are committed to resolving issues and being honest with each other.
7. A significant shift in your sex life
It’s not uncommon for sex to taper off a little after you’ve been together for some time. However, significant changes show that there is something wrong. An increase in sex can also signal something is wrong since the partner might be trying to make up for something wrong that they’ve been doing.
Other common issues include:
- Difficulties with colleagues, friends or in-laws.
- Unfair division of household chores.
- Different parenting styles.
- Difficult childhood upbringing.
- Addiction to drugs, alcohol or porn.
- Untreated anxiety or depression issues.
Studies show that couples attend therapy when they are unhappy, distressed, and hurting emotionally. As the popular saying goes, prevention is better than cure. Attending couples’ therapy when you start noticing issues can help you form healthy habits that will help you overcome problems together.
If you do nothing to improve your relationship, it will decline over time. This applies to your health, house, and car. Some therapists offer Couple Checkup services similar to a health checkup. It’s always important to have a therapist examine how well your relationship is functioning and offering exercises to strengthen areas that can lead to injuries if left untreated.
Ashley Simmons is a professional journalist and editor. She has been working in a newspaper in Salt Lake City for 4 years. She is also a content writing expert in such topics as psychology, modern education, business and marketing innovations. She is a master in her craft.