11 Signs That It’s Time for Marriage Counseling
A lot of couples wonder if they would benefit from marriage counseling. The easy answer is that everyone can get something out of it if they go in with an open mind. Even a happy couple can grow closer and learn to communicate better. But if you see any of these signs in your marriage, then your relationship might be in trouble.
- You aren’t talking at all. Sometimes relationships break down because of a lack of communication. It isn’t always a huge crisis that tears couples apart. Talking about the little things on a regular basis makes it easier to talk about the big things when they come along. Marriage counseling can help you to re-connect and build a stronger bond.
- When you do talk, it’s all negative. Often, it’s hard to look past the things that make us angry. It’s important in a marriage to be able to tell your spouse what upsets you, but it shouldn’t be the only thing you talk about. If the negativity is only coming from one partner, then it may be emotional abuse. Couples therapy can help you both to find new and better ways of communicating.
- You’re afraid to talk. You don’t have to be physically frightened. You may be afraid of what your partner might say or how he will react. You might be scared of hurting your spouse’s feelings. Marriage counseling can provide a safe place to air out these feelings.
- There is no affection. Some couples might be more affectionate than others because their personalities are different, and there is nothing wrong with that. However, if one or both partners isn’t getting the affection they want and need, something is wrong. This is an even bigger problem when affection is used as a punishment. It’s totally normal to feel less affectionate when we’re angry, but using it as a weapon to punish or manipulate is damaging.
- There are secrets. If there are secrets in the marriage, this is a major warning sign. Privacy is fine, and some people are more private than others, but if one or both of you are keeping secrets there is something wrong.
- You see each other as the enemy. You and your spouse should be working towards the same thing – a strong and happy marriage. If you are feeling like adversaries, trying to “win” disagreements and come out on top, a therapist can help to reset this dynamic.
- Someone considers or has an affair. If either partner has an affair, or even thinks about having one, this is a major warning sign. For many couples, an affair means the end of a relationship. Others are able to work through their problems. You might even come out stronger with the help of marriage counseling after an affair.
- You find yourself having the same arguments over and over. If you aren’t able to solve problems and they keep coming up, a therapist can help you to find solutions so you can finally lay it to rest.
- You aren’t happy with your sex life. There are many reasons that two people might not be on the same page sexually. Sometimes one partner isn’t as interested as the other. A lot of people are uncomfortable talking about sex, even with their spouse. A therapist can help you to talk about whose needs aren’t getting met, determine if there may be some health concerns affecting your sex life, and help you find solutions that leave you both satisfied.
- Your lives are totally separate. Couples don’t need to do everything together, and it can be good to have some time apart to pursue separate hobbies. But your spouse shouldn’t feel like a roommate. A skilled counselor can help you to pinpoint where the relationship is breaking down.
- You are facing a major crisis. You might not be unhappy in your marriage now, but maybe you know rocky times are coming. Upcoming retirement, moving to a new home, and being diagnosed with a serious illness are just a few of the many major stressors that couples can face. Marriage counseling can help you to navigate the rough waters ahead together instead of growing apart.