There are 3 sides to every couple’s conflict. Her side, his side, and the truth that lies somewhere in the middle.
When you’re handling the issue as a couple, it can be challenging to accept the truth. Too often, one or both partners will dig their heels in and refuse to see the other side. If this happens to you, couple’s counseling is a great solution.
An independent third party can help to mediate conflict and guide you both towards the truth. Sometimes, conflicts between you and your partner are like an unstoppable force colliding with an unstoppable object. You need someone else to help break the deadlock.
There are many indicators that you and your partner might benefit from going to couple’s counseling. Take a look at this article. If any of these points apply to you, help is available.
Inability to Communicate Well
When you can’t communicate with your significant other, the relationship becomes difficult. Maybe you can’t talk about certain things without your loved one getting angry. Or maybe you’ve grown distant from one another and your significant other feels like a stranger.
Whatever the situation, if you’re struggling to talk to each other, it’s worth considering couple’s counseling. Many couples who’ve seen a therapist have seen a significant increase in their communication with each other. This is usually the case even if you did not go to couple’s therapy for communication problems in particular.
Your Relationship Feels Conflict-Oriented
Do you feel like your relationship with your significant other is conflict-based? Maybe you’re constantly having arguments, or you’re always worried that you might do or say something that’ll cause a fight.
Arguments don’t need to be huge blowouts for you to consider couple’s counseling. Smaller arguments can become a huge problem if the emotions behind them are left unchecked.
That’s not to say you need couple’s counseling for the odd argument here and there. All couples will fight from time to time. It’s when the arguments start to form a pattern and become more and more frequent, that you might want to consider bringing in some outside help.
You or Your Significant Other Can’t Handle Conflict
There are many reasons that someone might have problems with conflict. If someone has grown up in an abusive household, for instance, you may find that they can’t handle arguments.
There are a variety of ways how someone might not handle conflict too well. Some people are passive-aggressive, some lash out, and others might shut down completely.
In this sort of situation, mediation is often essential. Quite often, this sort of behaviour is not the person’s fault. Reacting badly to arguments is often an unfortunate symptom of trauma.
When you go to couple’s counseling, it’ll help you and your love address the root of the problem. Unfortunately, if your significant other does not handle conflict very well, you might have issues getting them to attend counseling. They might also not be fully cooperative even if they do attend.
Beware of trying to force people into counseling. You shouldn’t push someone to go by issuing ultimatums or making threats.
The process of counseling relies on everyone’s consent. Forcing someone to go is likely to end up wasting everyone’s time.
The Intimacy Is Gone
Both physical and emotional intimacy are extremely important parts of a relationship. If either of these has significantly diminished, this is an indicator of a problem. If you feel like the spark is gone from the relationship and you feel more like a roommate than a lover, you might want to consider couple’s counseling.
This kind of loss of intimacy does not necessarily indicate that the relationship is doomed. In a lot of cases, this loss of intimacy is related to some other issue. Couple’s counseling enables any of these problems to come to light, where they can be addressed.
You’re Stuck in a Bad Loop
Human beings are great at falling into patterns of behaviour. Often, these things are positive. For example, you might be in the routine of exercising and having a good diet.
In other cases, these patterns can be negative or destructive behaviour. These behaviours might be destructive to ourselves or it might be destructive to a relationship.
Addictions, such as alcoholism, are an example of a destructive behavioural pattern. When you’re stuck in a loop of behaviour, it can become difficult to find your way out. A third party mediator can help give you some perspective.
Often, you need to find a catalyst to break out of a bad pattern. Couple’s therapy can often be the first step in making the positive changes you need in your life.
Trust Has Been Lost
There are plenty of incidents in a relationship that could cause you not to trust one another anymore. It might be something like cheating or it might be something like being deceptive about money.
When your significant other breaks your trust, you have a choice. Either you can end the relationship or you can choose to continue.
Carrying on with a relationship after trust has been broken can be very difficult. There may be a lot of resentment and it may manifest itself in negative behaviour.
If trust has been lost, and you want to keep the relationship going, one of your only options to save the relationship is to get in contact with a counselor.
You or Your Significant Other Are Going Through a Transition
If you or your partner are going through significant changes in life, it could certainly help if you attend counseling. Tumultuous times can put a huge strain on any relationship. In some cases, a major event might cause issues you’ve never had to deal with.
For example, your significant other’s mother could’ve passed away, causing them to cut themselves off. They might be angry after suffering from a significant personal failure.
If your significant other’s never acted in this way before, it could be extremely distressing. Couple’s counseling can enable you and your partner to take stock of the situation and get back on the right track.
What if Your Significant Other Won’t Go?
When your significant other refuses to go to couple’s counseling, this might cause big problems. If the issues between you are severe, and your loved one refuses to work on them, you might have no choice but to end the relationship.
If you don’t see ending the relationship as an option, you can always try to go to counseling yourself. While going to counseling by yourself is nowhere near as effective as going to couple’s therapy, it’s much better than not going at all.
In some cases, your partner might be so impressed by the progress you’ve made at therapy that they decide to give it a try for themselves. In other cases, your significant other might be more open to going to see a counselor on an individual basis.
Sometimes, couples will see the same therapist but they’ll go on a separate basis. You might each see the counselor alone for a few weeks, and then progress onto doing joint sessions.
Thankfully, the stigma surrounding going to therapy is not as significant of a barrier as it used to be. These days, men are much more willing to give counseling a try. Sometimes, it’s possible to improve your relationship with others through self-care.
Introducing the Thought of Going to Therapy
It’s very important you present therapy to your significant other in the right way. If you set up a meeting and spring the idea on them all of a sudden, it’s not likely to go down well.
You should talk to your partner extensively about couple’s counseling and why you want to go. You should make as much effort possible to involve them in the process. Let them help select a counselor, for instance.
Don’t try to take charge of the process. You should both be equally involved in it.
If your significant other is 100% not interested in seeing a counselor, you could see if they’re interested in any other potential solutions. For example, they could address anger issues by taking up meditation.
Take the First Step With Couple’s Counseling
Often, admitting you have a problem with the relationship and booking that first couple’s counseling session is the hardest part. Once you have a judgment-free zone to talk about what’s been bothering you, you’ll find that everything gets a lot easier.
Some problems can seem insurmountable when you’re facing up to them alone. Once you enlist the help of a counselor, you might find that your problems aren’t as big as you thought.
A key thing to keep in mind is you should choose a counselor that’s the right fit for both of you. Any good counselor should be prepared to have a short meeting or phone call with you, so you can be sure you are right for each other.
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