When should couples consider therapy or counseling? Developing an open and healthy avenue for communication early on in a relationship creates a foundation that is better prepared to weather the normal difficulties in a relationship.
All too often, one partner may be feeling unhappy, disconnected or that their needs for companionship, intimacy, or stimulation aren't being met. Or maybe, a routine has settled in a relationship that creates feelings of being stifled, trapped, or unappreciated. The same issues rings true for other sources of contention such as disagreements over finances, parenting, or family concerns.
Sadly, rather than engaging in helpful conversation and working to address issues in a healthy manner, frustration and resentment often grows. This building pressure may lead to a partner looking for other less healthy ways to deal with the accumulating problems. A partner may even open up with someone else and begin an emotional or physical affair. When this happens and the couple comes to therapy, the affair itself becomes the main topic, and its underlying causes are often ignored.
With this in mind, couples shouldn't wait until they're in crisis mode to come to therapy.
Issues Couples Face
Building a long lasting relationship with a partner can be difficult for many reasons. Some common challenges couple face include:
- Differences of opinion involving parenting, money, lifestyle or in-laws
- Recovering from the trauma of infidelity, loss, illness, or bankruptcy
- Uncertainty or fear of commitment, becoming parents, or life changes
- Dealing with life changes like retirement, career, moves, or health
- Sex and intimacy issues such as differences in libido, lack of trust, or past trauma
- Inability to communicate or share feelings like once before
We Are Here to Help
Couples should seek therapy long before they think they "need" to. After all, therapy can be an important part of a relationship. Since many relationship issues start small and then compound over time when not resolved, giving couples tools and techniques to improve conflict resolution early on is beneficial. Remember, rather than viewing therapy as the solution to a crisis, look at it as an integral aspect of a healthy life.
If your partner refuses to go to counseling, talk with them about why you're feeling you'd like to get into couples therapy and attempt to build consensus. Avoid surprising them with an appointment or insisting they attend. If they're still hesitant, remember that you can attend therapy on your own. This alone may have a beneficial effect.
If you feel your relationship could benefit from couple counseling, don’t wait any longer to get the support you need to build a healthy and long lasting relationship. Counseling is available and we're here to help. Call 501-954-7470 or CLICK HERE to request an appointment with one of our professional therapists.