Most couples have difficulty mending their relationship because of many factors. Hence, in certain situations, a professional third-party mediator might be called for.
While seeking advice from friends or families may be a good idea, going into couples counseling is better because issues can be settled with a professional without judgment, bias, or prejudice.
From financial issues to intimacy and proper communication, a professional counselor can help in those aspects and more. There are many instances that would warrant a visit to a relationship counselor.
Many couples assume that common problems can be resolved on their own, not thinking that every unresolved issue can pile up and get uglier later on. Hence, it’s so much better to know the early signs of a problematic relationship and nip it in the bud. To help you out, here are some signs that you and your partner might need couples counseling:
Fighting Over The Same Issues Endlessly
When simple communication turns into a fight, then something’s not right. These reasons may be due to being unable to communicate more effectively or because of other deeper issues. While it is normal for couples to fight and have disagreements, it becomes unhealthy when it is done more frequently without a proper resolution
And if you fight over the same reasons, again and again, it’s not also a good sign. Some fights are easy to resolve, but they become hard to mend if they are constantly swept under the rug. This usually happens when there is a history of cheating in the relationship.
If the non-cheating partner still has wounds and trust issues from the incident, it will be brought up again and again in every fight—whether that be a major or minor disagreement. It can also happen when a couple has financial troubles and one of them refuses to change their spending habits.
Couples counseling can help both of you learn to be calm and respectful to diffuse future arguments. In addition, counseling services can also help identify the root cause of why such frequent fights occur. Sometimes, couples may not clearly see the main reason why things have escalated but a professional can help them realize that.
Moreover, by seeking therapy, you may also learn techniques on how to argue healthily. You may even know how to turn opposing arguments into productive and positive communication. And instead of belittling each other, counseling may help you argue about the real issue at hand and find ways to settle it without the need to bring it up again in the future.
Moreover, by attending relationship counseling, you and your partner will understand that you’re a team and are more likely rooting for the same outcomes. With such, both of you may develop ways on how to compromise with each other. You may know what both of you want, but it may be hard to achieve it together without the help of a counselor.
Counseling doesn’t mean that you’ll no longer be arguing, but it transforms how you communicate. That way, you can keep your marriage or relationship healthy.
Loss Of Trust
Trust is an important aspect in any relationship—especially for a couple. But there are many instances or situations that can make couples lose their trust in each other.
For example, one may begin keeping secrets or one just simply stops communicating because of hidden disappointments. And of course, unfaithfulness or cheating can destroy trust. When this happens, it becomes harder for couples to make up.
With less trust, couples can become more distant. Before trust issues can cause more problems, seeking a counselor could help. A counselor may help you restore trust by uncovering the root cause of the issue. They also know proper ways to resolve it, and they’ll guide both of you through them.
That way, both of you can become more open and honest so that you can fix the problem and prevent it from worsening.
Lack Of Communication
Good communication doesn’t only mean asking how your partner’s day went by. Meaningful communication involves actual talking and listening. Couples should see communication as a way to build healthier relationships. But when that’s lost, and you find yourself not having honest conversations, you may be needing couples counseling.
One root cause of poor communication is not understanding its importance. A counselor can help you discover why you should communicate. By knowing that communication helps build a connection with your partner, you can accept that you need to change how you converse with each other.
Moreover, you can also uncover practical ways to talk with each other. As you probably already know, individuals have different needs, and that includes their preferred way of communication. For instance, one person may want to focus on verbal communications while others are okay with non-verbal.
With such, it’s essential to know what your partner needs and how both of you can communicate more effectively. A counselor can help you with this. He or she may suggest using empathic listening, better understanding, and ways to start a conversation. That way, you can effectively communicate with each other.
When you continuously improve your communication, you could also develop a deeper connection. And by the end of the counseling, you may even start talking about the most sensitive topics without boring each other. As a result, you can avoid trust issues that could arise from miscommunications or no communication at all.
Intimacy Is Missing
Another sign that you need professional counseling is when you or your partner stop being intimate. This includes no physical contact or sexual activity, although you sleep on the same bed.
However, this lack of intimacy should continuously happen for weeks, if not months, depending on what period is considered frequent in the relationship. While sexual excitement can drop as years go by, having none at all may not be good. Suppose both of you think that you’re happy with your sex lives, then good.
But if you’re starting to think that your partner likes someone else, or if you’re beginning to feel insecure about your body, then it might be time to communicate and seek counseling.
By attending couples counseling, you can find ways to improve your intimacy. Since this is intimate, it’s a good start for both of you. Your counselor allows you to reconnect and talk without the need to hide anything. That’s because experienced and trained relationship counselors can tell whether one is not open.
With such, you can discover each other’s inhibitions or frustrations about intimacy. A counselor can guide you to uncover what keeps each other from being intimate.
Using this discovery, you can better understand each other. For instance, your partner may want different ways to keep the fire burning. By knowing this, you could work out strategies to fill up your partner’s needs.
But before you can achieve such, counseling helps you create deeper and honest conversations. As mentioned, learning how to communicate effectively is essential to understand each other. With such, you can ask the right questions in a manner that your partner will respond. When both of you become more open and connected, it’ll become easier to improve your intimacy.
Recurring Issues About Finances
Even though money is not everything, it’s still essential to keep a marriage healthy. Some couples break up when their finances are mismanaged. It starts with simple arguments that can overflow when issues are unresolved. As a result, even simple financial movements can cause arguments.
For instance, the other partner may start questioning daily expenditures or bank transactions. Worse, that partner may no longer trust the other with financial matters, which could gravely hurt the other.
Effective counseling can help both of you understand the importance of managing your finances, especially if you both have different outlooks and habits when it comes to money. By understanding this, you can find ways to be at par with your thoughts and emotions about it.
Since money matters could be emotional, a counselor is there to talk you through it calmly. That way, you can be on the same page without becoming aggressive. And again, counseling will help you uncover the root cause of why one may seem to be spending more than the other. Sometimes people tend to spend without realizing that they’re overdoing it.
For instance, a person may have grown to be less-privileged, and when they start earning, they will interpret it as a time to enjoy the things they never did before. By uncovering this invisible cause, you can better understand each other.
But that doesn’t stop there. Couples counseling can also help you strategize to change spending habits. It may seem hard at first, but knowing each other’s outlook and attitudes about money can be a great start.
When You’re Considering Divorce
You may think that divorce is the solution to all your problems. If you fight incessantly, don’t communicate, or when intimacy is all gone, you may feel that your marriage is over. However, counseling may be a way to avoid divorce.
As mentioned, you can improve your intimacy, communication, and other issues with proper counseling. A discernment counseling may help both of you understand what needs to change in your relationship. That way, you can still remain together and even improve the relationship.
But in case you’ve discovered that your relationship is no longer salvageable, then counseling can still help. Professional counselors can guide you to go your separate ways in a less damaging manner. Instead of having messy and toxic divorces, both of you may learn how to process it properly.
You no longer need to blame each other for why your marriage didn’t last long, but you’ll come to terms with why you need to split. As a result, you can plan a better co-parenting arrangement if you have children and preventing the negative aftermath of divorce.
One Has Been Unfaithful
Infidelity or cheating is one of the major reasons why trust gets broken in a relationship. A counselor could help both partners understand why one of them becomes unfaithful. By becoming aware of the root cause, the couples can work out a solution and make adjustments to mend the relationship.
Major Life Changes Have Occurred
Changes are good, but when it’s too big and either partner doesn’t know how to handle it, it could become a source of stress and anxiety. While stress is a normal reaction, it becomes a pressing matter if it stays longer than usual and starts affecting the relationship. This could manifest in many forms. Usually, it includes moving into a new city, changing or losing a job, grief (after the death of a loved one), or even having a new baby.
If you observe that one of you becomes easily agitated or acts differently after a big transition, you may want to check on each other. Stress can also manifest in different ways, and this includes a sudden change of behavior or developing bad habits and vices such as using drugs and alcohol, or even gambling addiction.
When this happens, it may mean that your partner has a hard time coping with the changes or with the new responsibilities that you have found yourselves in.
With the help of a counselor, you or your partner can help each other transition with these changes. A counselor will guide you on possible tactics that could ease the stress brought by major life events. By learning how to cope appropriately, your partner won’t fall into severe anxiety. As a result, you could have a better relationship moving forward.
Every couple has challenges that would test the relationship. Even if you started great, happy, and fulfilled, you could end up in trouble at some point in the relationship.
Conflicts are normal but when both of you can’t handle these challenges and differences, your relationship could fall apart. That’s why couples counseling is available so you and your partner can build a stronger bond. From communication, understanding, and coming up with proper solutions, your counselor can help with such. So, it’s best to be wary of the mentioned signs that you need couples counseling before an issue becomes a bigger problem.