Marriage and Couples Counseling
A loving relationship with a spouse or committed partner can be one of the most joyful experiences life offers.
But marriage and other love relationships can have their ups and downs. When you and your loved one encounter problems, how do you know if you really need counseling to resolve them?
Are these bumps in the road a passing phase, a result of life’s stresses or special situations that come up? How do you know if a relationship can be fixed by working on it yourselves? Then there’s the big question: Can our differences and our marriage/relationship even be resolved? The answer is yes; more than likely they can. Sometimes just having another perspective can allow you to see a way through it. All these factor into your decision to seek the help of a professional.
As a marriage and couples counselor to hundreds of couples, I can see some of the warning signs that can be roadblocks on your joint path in life together, signs that you might not recognize yourself or if you do, you don’t know how to fix or haven’t been able to fix. Let me provide some clarity on the subject of when a relationship needs the help of a third party.
- Have you been experiencing negative communications that leave you feeling angry, depressed, insecure, resentful, or disregarded? Is your impulse to want to walk or run away?
- Are you and/or your spouse acting out your negativity by exhibiting hurtful behaviors like yelling, name-calling, acting out of spite?
- Do you feel like your relationship lacks the love, communication, and intimacy you once had and feels more like you’re just co-existing? Are you more like roommates rather than soul mates?
- Are you having or considering having an affair or has your partner had an affair? If you’re both committed to saving the relationship, overcoming infidelity is possible. Commitment and honesty are two essential qualities you both need in order to pick up the pieces and move on. There’s hope.
- Do you both know what’s wrong but just don’t know how to fix it? You’re halfway there! Getting stuck means you are both aware that there’s discord and there’s the implicit feeling that you both want to work on getting rid of it. This is a good time for a counselor to step in, when you’re in the early stages of working out a problem.
- Taking short breaks from one another can be helpful. But in your case, you or your spouse are spending more time away from one another and it’s not resolving the situation. It may actually be affecting your relationship adversely by reinforcing negative thoughts. Also, when you return to one another you may find the break caused the problem to go unaddressed or if you do talk about it, the problem is still there.
- Are you staying together for the sake of the children? It would be better to have a better relationship and stay together for the sake of the children. I don’t want people to just stay together. I want them to have a wonderful, happy marriage.
- Staying together in this situation is actually doing the reverse of what you hoped. It’s having a detrimental effect on them. A better option is to focus on improving your relationship with one another.