Are you having trouble seeing eye to eye with your partner lately? Are you constantly arguing who’s going to wash the dishes or why you or your partner is spending a lot on online shopping? How about for house renovations?
Are you having trouble convincing your partner it’s better to have kids rather than get a new pet? Do you find yourself resenting your overly concerned in-laws more than ever? Or is the pandemic driving you nuts because you’re always together that you feel trapped rather than loved?
If you answer yes to any of these questions, know that you aren’t alone. Relationships aren’t always smooth sailing. There will be times when it’ll be on the rocks, just like what other couples experience. Couples have their share of misunderstandings, and some may even have it worse.
Reasons Why Relationships Fall Apart
Relationships become rocky over a lot of things. Some couples are too caught up with work or take care of children to find time for sex. Others may find themselves lost and lonely, struggling to make sense of things after getting fired, falling ill, or sending children off to college.
Still, some feel like they’re in a warzone—caught in an angry crossfire of words or suffer endless physical or emotional abuse. They feel trapped in their relationship and often find a way out.
Some couples may struggle with infidelity issues, with broken trust, and shattered dreams. Often their pain consumes them that they see divorce as the only suitable option for all their suffering.
While there are couples who bravely weather these storms, some aren’t as lucky. In your case, unresolved issues can gnaw at your trust, respect, and love for each other. Before you know it, your relationship is falling apart. When bickering replaces sweet greetings and affectionate gestures turn into abusive or self-destructive behaviors, you may wonder if the relationship is worth saving.
In truth, every relationship is worth one more try. Couples can work it out together with the help of a trained professional. Couples therapy can help you and your partner steer clear from rough seas and help you sail back to the gentle waves of a harmonious relationship.
Make It Work
If your relationship seems to be going downhill for some reason, you can consider couples therapy as a way to resolve your concerns. Sessions with counselors from High Country Behavioral Healths can provide you and your partner with tools to help you express your feelings, fears, and desires. They can help you work out your issues and prepare you to handle all of life’s challenges together.
If you’re planning to talk to a professional, you have to do so now. Seeking help early when issues aren’t as complicated can restore your relationship and save you from further heartaches. Contrary to what most couples think, counseling works for most people. It helps you open up to your partner while you’re still dating.
Pre-marriage counseling also settles issues, so you and your partner are on the same page about your plans and goals. Therapy allows partners to look at things from a different perspective.
While it’s common for your partner to feel reluctant or defensive about therapy, you should both make an effort to participate. Couples willing to make an effort can largely benefit from the intervention and come out as strong and compassionate partners.
Benefits Of Couples Therapy
The American Association of Marriage and Family reports that 97% of couples benefit from couples therapy. About 93% of them also say they can now deal better with conflicts. Aside from these benefits, you and your partner can also use couples therapy to:
1. Reconnect With Each Other
Sometimes you and your better half can get so caught up with work, school, or with kids that you barely have time for a decent conversation. You may find yourself rushing to work without a goodbye kiss or an ‘I love you’ while heading out the door.
Spending your spare time on mobile devices playing games or posting on social media can also create distance. When you’re both engrossed with other things, sparks can fade, and your relationship will falter.
Couples therapy serves as an opportunity to reconnect with each other. It allows them to spend time together and reminisce about wonderful memories. It will enable them to rediscover why they fell in love in the first place and realize that this common bond can hold them together for life.
Therapists guide your conversations to focus on you and your partner’s positive traits and help you realize that the very things that make you attracted are the same ones that can save your relationship.
2. Restore Communication
Communication is one of the vital elements of a successful relationship. Expressing your thoughts and desires allows your partner to learn more about your personality, beliefs, and values.
Do the opposite, and chances are your partner will have to guess what you want or need. Partners who are clueless or insensitive can cause misunderstandings. It becomes all the more dangerous when your partner expresses it in hurtful ways. They may even turn to substance abuse as a coping mechanism rather than confront the problem.
Therapy encourages couples to share their thoughts and opinions. They are free to voice out their innermost feelings and take turns listening to each other. Couples therapy also teaches partners how to reframe their communication to become more responsive rather than reactive.
Partners also learn that a first-person approach can help individuals convey their messages rather than blame others for their emotions or stress. It develops empathy and restores respect for both partners.
3. Resolve Concerns
Couples tend to ignore issues until they pile up and become irreparable. They can argue over money, sex, parenting, in-laws, or religion. These issues not only turn into heated arguments but also require mediation by a trained professional.
Money and Finances
Financial matters are one of the common sources of marital discord. It’s often said that opposites attract each other, and in money lingo, spenders attract savers. Unfortunately, this attraction can cause conflicts in a relationship.
You may wonder why your partner enjoys spending every penny like there’s no tomorrow when all you do is pay for credit card debts or payday loans. You may even disagree on your financial priorities—car versus home, education versus travel, and others. Money can make or break a relationship, and sadly, most couples choose the latter.
Therapy encourages couples to talk about their finances. Counselors can ask you what your parents taught you about money and how you view it as either a commodity or a necessity. They help partners understand how upbringing can play a role in shaping their values about money.
When partners understand why their better half is a spender or a saver, they can agree on how they can address money matters as a couple. They become inclined to make decisions together to ensure the family’s finances are in good standing or work out a solution to improve it. Turning to therapy can also modify behaviors. Couples can commit to limit their spending or work on eliminating debt so they can enjoy financial security.
Sex And Intimacy
Apart from finances, sex and intimacy is another issue that requires intervention. Lackluster sex life is often caused by fatigue, age, illness, medication side effects, or menopause. Your partner may also find sex as a chore rather than an intimate bond. Therapy helps couples understand that stressors and changes in their bodies can affect their sexual intimacy and suggest ways to rekindle the passion in their relationship.
Besides sex, couples may also find a need to discuss the lack of emotional intimacy. They may fail to connect and struggle to express affection. Therapy encourages couples to become more expressive. They emphasize how simple yet thoughtful gestures can make their partner feel loved. Even occasional surprises can keep their love burning.
Therapists may also suggest ways on how partners can ensure intimacy during the pandemic. They emphasize that intimacy is more than sex, as it involves establishing deeper bonds with your partner. They may also advise couples to do things separately. Hobbies and skills develop a person’s character and can renew attraction between partners.
Parenting Styles And Family Relations
Parents may disagree when it comes to family relations. As unique individuals, they may have different and, sometimes, conflicting parenting styles that can leave children confused. You may see yourself as the stricter parent while your partner is the total spoiler. Your children may think you’re a nagger while your partner feels you’re too critical.
Therapy allows you to discuss with your better half which parenting style works best for your children. As you work this out, therapy will help you become better not only as partners but as effective parents.
If raising children isn’t a problem, you may have trouble dealing with in-laws. Holidays and visits can be problematic, as it often requires a tough balancing act between your partner, children, and extended family. In-laws who are rude or overly involved can also cause tension between spouses.
Therapy allows partners to be honest about their feelings. In the process, they discover why they dislike certain family members and figure out a compromise, so everyone is satisfied with holiday arrangements. They can also work together to improve family relationships by using the tools therapy provides for resolving conflicts.
Sometimes couples turn to maladaptive behaviors to cope with problems. Your partner becomes a heavy drinker, a chain smoker, or a gambler. Your partner may also become abusive that you become a victim of domestic violence.
When this happens, therapy can be combined with other approaches to address abusive or self-destructive behaviors. The ultimate aim of treatment is behavior change. Partners should recognize and condone wrong behavior. They should also show a willingness to change and quit vices and refrain from violent behavior.
Aside from these, therapy also addresses trauma that results from abusive relationships. They can help you find healing and help you rebuild your self-esteem.
Couples therapy can resolve numerous concerns between couples. It helps them handle conflicts better as they both learn the value of empathy.
4. Rebuild Relationship
Couples often consider therapy as a last-ditch effort, the remaining step before they go separate ways. Divorce is seen as the end of the line, with no point for reconciliation. When couples no longer feel love, they turn to couples therapy to end the relationship civilly.
Infidelity is another reason why couples fight and want to end the relationship. Dishonesty and extramarital affairs not only break hearts, as they can shatter dreams and destroy a home. This is perhaps the most difficult challenge in your relationship, and you will need all the help you can get to overcome betrayal.
Those who find the heart to try one more time can turn to couples therapy for healing and forgiveness. Discussions help offenders understand the weight of their actions and how they can still fix the relationship and restore trust. Therapy helps rebuild relationships and allows them to start anew.
5. Renew Support
Partners undergo several transitions through the years. Marriage, career, and children are wonderful accomplishments, but there will be times when their resolve will be tested. Retirement, sending kids off to college, gaining weight, or getting sick can pose serious challenges to even the most stable relationships. Couples may end up feeling lost or disconnected from each other as they struggle to cope with these situations.
Couples therapy helps them deal with these uncomfortable transitions. It provides a way for couples to talk about their feelings to ease loneliness and even depression. Counseling encourages partners to offer emotional support to their distressed loved ones.
Couples therapy can benefit partners who are having problems in their relationship. It develops their empathy and assures partners of support and understanding. Counseling sessions also ensure that couples can openly express their feelings and address their concerns about money, intimacy, children, and extended family and even address more sensitive issues such as infidelity, substance abuse, and domestic violence.
As couples learn to communicate, they become more capable of handling conflicts and showing support to their partner. They also learn to forgive and strive to work on saving their relationship. Couples therapy reignites the flame of love and rekindles passion. It refuels commitment and restores respect so partners can move forward and face life’s challenges together once more.