In one survey, 93% of couples reported that couples therapy gave them effective tools for dealing with relationship problems. Which relationship problems are best dealt with in a therapy setting?
Your relationship is unique, and has its own presence, like a third entity, between you both.
This entity has its own set of rules, strengths, challenges and expectations. Therefore, there is no ‘one size fits all’ approach to having a successful, happy union.
What is common amongst all relationships is that, sometimes, conflicts can arise. Some of these are minor and can be dealt with quickly. Other conflicts can be extremely complicated, emotionally difficult and can put enormous pressure on the relationship.
Couples therapy helps people, whether dealing with minor or major conflicts, to overcome them positively and proactively. But how do you know that your relationship needs therapy? Here are 10 signs…
Reasons to attend couples therapy
Conversations turn into arguments
Arguments are normal and healthy. In fact, studies have shown that frequent arguments are a sign of a functioning relationship. However, when everyday conversations frequently turn into conflicts, and you find your relationship in a persistent state of tension, something much deeper could be going on, and couples therapy should be sought.
A cultural, racial or religious disagreement has occurred
Conflicts involving race, culture or religion can be particularly sensitive and complicated. Your heritage, values and faith play a huge role in how you think and behave within your relationship. When fundamental parts of your identity are challenged by your spouse, it can cause immense friction and discomfort. Couples therapy provides a safe space to unpack and explore these issues.
Sex has stopped or stagnated
I find that changes in the bedroom are often one of the first signs that something is wrong in the relationship. The frequency, intimacy levels or more practical components of sex might have altered, leaving couples struggling to communicate or pinpoint the causitive issue. Couples therapy allows you to discuss and explore your sex life in an honest way, free from judgement.
You’re considering infidelity / Someone has been unfaithful
Without a doubt, infidelity is one of the hardest challenges a couple can endure. Studies have shown that almost half of the population of Denmark has been unfaithful at some point in their lives – it is extremely common and always distressing. Affairs don’t happen from nowhere. There is always a build up. Couples therapy helps to heal a partnership struggling with infidelity, and reduce the likelihood of a future affair occurring.
There are money worries
Money is one of the leading causes of divorce. There are all sorts of ways that money can negatively impact your relationship. These include debt, secret spending, an imbalance of earnings (and therefore power), or never agreeing on how much should be spent, saved or invested. For some, talking about money can be very difficult, and so couples therapy allows a safe space for this topic to be explored with transparency.
Lacking interest in one another
When you are co-existing instead of collaborating, you might benefit from seeing a couples therapist. Healthy relationships require interaction, quality time, and a genuine interest in one another. Without this, you are two housemates coexisting in the same space. And that’s not fulfilling for anyone. Couples therapy can help you to re-energise the relationship and re-discover each other.
There are issues involving children
Raising children is undoubtedly a privilege. But it is also a heavy responsibility, often burdened with immense challenges that can strain even the best of relationships. Whether you are having trouble conceiving, have recently had a baby, are raising teenagers, adopting, fostering or forming a blended family, children present us with highly complex and often very emotional relationship hurdles. Couples therapy helps you to navigate the trials of parenting, freeing you up to enjoy the triumphs.
You / they crave more space
Hearing ‘I need space’ is never easy. If your partner has said this, it’s likely they’re feeling overwhelmed, suffocated or distracted by something else. Taking time apart is difficult but often necessary to avoid the escalation of problems. What’s crucial though, is that when you come back together again, you seek therapy to help understand what caused the need for space in the first place.
You / they crave more intimacy
I often see one partner in a relationship craving more intimacy and connection from the other. This can manifest as wanting more quality time, more date nights, more sex, more conversation, more affection… If you recognise this as forming part of your relationship, you might want to consider couples therapy to help understand why the balance is off. It will also help you to see your partner’s point of view, hear what their needs are, and allow them to know more about you and your needs.
There has been a sudden life change
If you have recently experienced a significant event, such as a bereavement, relocation, a new baby, a job loss or a trauma, couples therapy can help. Couples therapy gives you both the time and space to acknowledge the event, explore the feelings within it, work through any challenges and face the future in a more positive way together.
There is no right or wrong time to go to therapy. I would recommend, however, that if you have noticed any of these 10 signs, that you explore the option of therapy as soon as possible. This way, you can take a proactive approach in maintaining a healthy, solid union, rather than waiting for a crisis to hit.
Getting the support you need
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Whichever help and support you need, my pledge to you is consistent.
Book a free 15 minute conversation, which is all you need to begin your journey. We will talk about where you are now, where you want to be, and how I can help you get there.