Have you wondered, maybe we need couples counseling?
As a couples therapist in San Francisco, I’ve certainly heard many of the reasons that people come in for couples counseling. Here is a short list of some of the concerns that people come in to work on. With something as important as your relationship, you want to act fast when problems come up. And they will come up.
We need couples counseling
Here are some of the common signs that you may benefit from couples therapy. Sometimes there can be stigma around seeking support through therapy. If you’re thinking, we need couples counseling, don’t let anything get in the way of working on your relationship. Couples counseling is a lot cheaper than a divorce, in most cases.
Sex is becoming less and less frequent
Over the course of a relationship, of course sex will ebb and flow. At the beginning, maybe you’re having sex almost every day. But over time it’s decreased and decreased. You’re not sure how to initiate. Maybe you’re afraid your partner will turn you down. No one likes rejection. But it’s not just how often. The amount of sex is not nearly as important as the quality of the connection. If things are off, do you have the tools to talk about and improve your sex life?
You’re fighting more than you’re talking
Fighting and conflict are not all together bad. In any intimate relationship there will be difference. However, do you know how to fight clean? When conflict comes up, are you able to talk about it in a productive and loving way? There are plenty of tools available to learn how to listen and respond to each other in a respectful, authentic and meaningful way.
You’ve grown emotionally distant
If you come from a household that was conflict avoidant, it’s likely that you may find yourself in a relationship that is the same way. What do I mean by this? Instead of being able to talk about and negotiate difference, you withdrawal into yourself to avoid confrontation. The problem with this kind of communication is that it can breed resentment. There are tools that you can learn to work on expressing yourself more fully in your relationship.
One of you has had an affair
Affairs can show up in all sorts of different ways. It could be an emotional or physical betrayal. Or maybe it feels like your partner is having an affair with their work or their hobby. Whatever the case, this is an important indicator that your relationship could use some TLC. You can work through the betrayal, but you need to reestablish and nurture your connection.
You or your partner are thinking about having an affair
Thinking about an affair may not be in and of itself that big of a deal, but it could be an indication that your relationship needs some attention. The “affair” doesn’t have to be just a sexual betrayal. If you’re thinking about doing something that you know will hurt your partner, it’s probably a good idea to get some more support.
You notice you’re lying to your partner
If you find yourself lying to your partner, it’s probably a good idea to seek couples therapy. Whether you’re telling small white lies or large, more damaging untruths, this could be a sign of something more important that needs some care. If we’re not able to be our full authentic self in our relationships, intimacy and connection will quickly evaporate.
You are having that same fight over and over
We all know the routine. It’s the same fight, over and over. Maybe it’s about the dishes or your mother-in-law, but it never seems to change. The good news is that the pattern can be altered, but it will take some work. There is a problem somewhere in the communication chain that needs to be addressed and changed.
You’re about to get married and you want some support
There is a statistic floating around that most couples go into counseling 5 years too late. Get the support early and start your married life out on a good footing. Problems will come up and if you can cut them off at the pass you may be able to avoid pain in the future. Premarital counseling is an investment in your future together.
You’re about to have a baby and you want some support
Having a baby will change your whole life. There’s a new person in your home and family and that can disrupt the way that life has been working. There are all sorts of new stresses that come about because of a new baby. Are you making sure you get enough time together? Couples therapy can help you learn how to talk about this new shift in the family dynamic.
You or your partner are struggling with an addiction
Addiction can be devastating to couples and families. It’s crucial that you get support with something this intense. Addiction doesn’t have to be the end of a relationship, but it will take hard work to change ingrained patterns and ways of coping. You don’t have to deal with this alone.
You’re reading this article
If you’re reading this article, you can see all of the variety of ways that couples therapy can be helpful. Maybe while reading this list there were several areas that sounded familiar. Whatever the case, get yourself the support you need. Relationship troubles can be a huge cause of stress and can increase levels of anxiety and depression. Reach out. Get support. You and your relationship are worth it!