Unavoidably, all relationships have their ups and downs – and most of it are things that can take two of you to work through, so long as you both put in the effort to wanting the relationship to work. It can be difficult for a couple to admit that they need help, which is perfectly understandable. Often I would be asked when couples therapy is appropriate or necessary, and there are a few signs that we can watch out for.
I provide counselling for couples of all types, there is no rule about when you should seek counselling or therapy services. Hopefully, you might be able to spot these 7 signs you may need couples therapy so that you can look to improve your relationship:
1. Lack of communication
One of the most common issues I come across is a lack of communication between one another. When couples stop sharing their feelings with each other they are likely to fight frequently and without resolution. This can build up resentment and unspoken issues that fester under the surface. It can be tricky to restart conversations naturally when this happens, and sometimes communication can return but in a negative tone. Once we start talking to each other again it can be extremely tempting to simply air all of the stocked up negativity. Talking to each other in a controlled space is far safer than trying to hash things out at home.
2. Ceasing to coexist
When you start leading separate lives this can be a serious alarm bell. Often, when couples have been together for a long time they coexist in a joined living space. Eating dinner together, socialising together, enjoying recreational activities together, even if this doesn’t mean constantly talking. However, if you start to live like roommates rather than a couple, you may have a problem. This will usually stem from a breakdown in communication and intimacy.
3. Considering infidelity
If you are unhappy in your relationship you may start to look elsewhere for affection as well as physical intimacy. Rather than simply ignoring these feelings or acting on them, it is important to consider where they are coming from. You may not actually crave a new partner, but have lost something with your current partner that could be rekindled with the help of a couples therapist or counselling session.
4. Fighting or bickering
This may seem a little obvious, but it is easy for fighting to become a normal part of a relationship. Sometimes we don’t notice how much we are arguing or how unimportant the triggers of the fights are. If you notice you have started to have blazing rows over who’s turn it was to take out the bins or some hair in the sink, it is likely that you are both trying to vent some tensions below the surface. This includes the less obvious aggression such as snapping at each other for no reason or being unintentionally passive-aggressive.
Attending couples therapy can help your relationship develop healthier ways of communicating to each other as well as discovering the reasons that are sparking the constant disagreements. The positive out of all this is that once these underlying reasons are exposed you can expect to see an improvement in your relationship.
5. Changes in your sex life
As relationships go on, sex can change and not always for the worse. Many long term couples will decrease the amount of sex they have over time as dating moves into co-existing, but there are still warning signs buried in your sex life. If you feel the manner in which you have sex has changed, become less intimate or passionate, this could be indicative of underlying issues. Discussing sex is important and a large part of communicating as a couple. Counselling can be an excellent way to open up these difficult to discover pathways.
6. Arguing over finances
Money is an extremely difficult topic and requires a lot of communication between partners. If one of you is secretly spending, hiding aspects of your finances or simply being closed about financial issues, this will plant mistrust in your relationship. If you are not working as a team you can create a number of issues between you and this includes the fiscal aspect of your lives.
7. You feel something is wrong
The final sign is by far the most basic, you know when something is wrong in your relationship. You don’t need to have some grand issue to seek help and prepare for couples counselling sessions as soon as you both feel something is not quite right can save your relationship.
Even the most happy relationships often find themselves seeking couples therapy and find it’s helpful for them. You shouldn’t be ashamed in seeking help, in fact putting the time and energy into your relationship shows commitment, courage and shows that you value your relationship with your partner.
Don’t give up, contact a counsellor today
As an experienced counsellor, I’m passionate in assisting couples work through their challenges to help them build a stronger relationship. Each of my counselling sessions is designed for the unique needs of my clients. Your relationship is unlike any other and you deserve a tailored counselling service that is suited for your particular situation. Our Hawthorn location is convenient and provides a safe place for couples to work through daily challenges they’re facing.
Please call me on 0417 169 653 to find out more information, or to book in your first counselling session with me.