- Does your communication go awry? Do arguments seem to come out of nowhere, and/or do they spin out of control?
- Have you recently contemplated leaving? Do you think about what it would be like to be single again?
- Is there a deepening gulf between you and your partner? Do you feel that you are moving in different directions or that you don’t really know each other anymore?
- Have you recently added a child (or children) to your relationship? Have you and your partner recently become empty nesters?
- Is your sex life unsatisfying?
- Have your arguments gotten physical?
- Do you feel like you have to act a part (that is not your true self) in order to make your relationship work?
- Do you feel lonely when your partner is in the room?
- Are you fantasizing about being with someone else?
- Is there at least one partner asking to see a counselor?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, you may see benefit in relationship counseling.
Choosing to enter relationship counseling is a decision that is both very important and very personal. Deciding whether or not you and your partner need these services is something that should be done as a family.
You may be asking: Do we need counseling? What’s wrong with us that we need it? Does it mean that we’re not trying hard enough or that we’re failing? These are common concerns for people contemplating relationship therapy. Unfortunately, there is a stigma attached to seeking help from counselors. People tend to think that doing so shows weakness or that it is shameful.
The truth of the matter is that relationships are hard, and very few of us are naturally good at them. Luckily, everyone can build the skills and create the habits that will make a relationship grow and become stronger.
So the question is not really do we need relationship counseling, but rather how can we benefit from it? If there are areas where communication seems to break down, or there are patterns that keep repeating themselves, counseling can help to clarify the underlying concerns that are creating gridlock.
If there has been a betrayal (emotional, financial or sexual), having a caring neutral party to assist in exploring that hurt can help you move toward healing and begin to rebuild intimacy and trust.
If the years and the many trials of life have pushed their way between you and your partner, and now you find yourself looking at someone who feels like a stranger, setting the intention to be the partner you want to be and to act with compassion can help you rekindle the love that has faded away.
Whatever challenges your relationship faces, a skilled relationship therapist can help you to achieve the change you want.