Recognising the signs you need marriage counseling may not be as simple as you may think.
When your relationship is sailing smoothly on the love boat, it feels like the pair of you are invincible. You can smash any goal with your lover by your side, and you can’t imagine the rainbow would ever end.
But if you’re in a relationship that’s cruising struggle street you may feel the opposite. Lost. Scared. Lonely.
If things are rocky at home, that negativity can creep into other areas of your life. You may not feel as confident, you’re irritable, you may feel like you’re carrying a large weight.
A secret to relationship success is not waiting until things are dire. Seeking help when you first notice signs you need marriage counseling and getting some tips on how best to resolve your issues can save a world of pain.
Here are eight signs that you may need couples counseling.
You keep having the same fight but nothing ever gets sorted
Often we have recurring themes in our arguments, but if you feel that you’re not getting heard and you can never reach a resolution or compromise it’s time to find some help.
“If you keep having the same arguments over and over again, it means something isn’t working in your communication and conflict resolution,” says relationship counselor, Clinton Power, of Clinton Power and Associates.
“A trained couples counselor can give you the tools you need to resolve conflict quickly and effectively.”
If you’re worried about bringing issues up with your partner, you need to ask yourself why. If you are afraid of arguments or conflict then it’s likely a cycle of communication break-down is already at play. If you’re afraid of violence or aggression, then you need definitely need to seek counsel, speak to a friend, or get help.
Call 1800RESPECT for a confidential chat if you need to – 1800 737 732
You can‘t be bothered talking anymore
The key to any relationship is communication; it’s how humans connect. If you no longer wish to connect with your partner you need to ask why are you still hanging around?
“One of the most important aspects of being in a healthy relationship is the ability to communicate about important issues. And of course, it’s incredibly rewarding to be able to talk to your partner about even mundane day-to-day things, so life isn’t so lonely and you can support each other,” tells Clinton.
If your sex life is not rocking your boat
Sex lives heat up and cool down as a natural flow in relationships, but when sex becomes the elephant in the room and you are not only not doing it, but having trouble talking about it, you might need help getting back on the horse, so to speak.
“It’s normal for all couples to go through stages of low and high sexual activity throughout the course of a relationship. However, if you’re not having sex with each other for months or even years and you can’t resolve the issue yourself, that’s a serious issue that requires professional help,” says Clinton.
A trained sex therapist or relationship counselor trained in sexual issues may be just the trick.
The small stuff is becoming big stuff
If small issues like the toilet seat being up in the middle of the night or who left the plate by the sink turns into a large argument, it’s possible that you have a deeper issue eating away at you underneath.
Understanding the nitty gritty of your conflict may not be easy by yourself, you may not even fully understand it at a conscious level. Seeking marriage counceling with the big issues can help to improve your relationship, and then the small stuff is not so infuriating.
You use threats to influence your partner
Nobody likes to be threatened and if you’re reducing yourself to threatening to leave or various other negative vibes then it’s unlikely that this will end well. In fact, you’re being a bit of a dick.
“Being able to positively influence your partner is an important aspect of any relationship – it’s a good thing and both partners need to be good at it. But if you’re using threats to influence your partner, this is damaging and destructive to your relationship. While threats might work in the short term, you’re actually undermining your relationship in the long term,” believes Clinton.
You want to walk away
If you’re at breaking point and you’re ready to call it quits, it’s not too late for couples counseling.
“Many relationships and marriages can actually start to improve at the point of breaking up. But make no mistake about it, it requires hard work, discipline and commitment,” tells Clinton.
“The sad truth for many people is it’s easier to walk away from a relationship than to work on it. That said, some relationships just can’t be saved.”
Only you know if your relationship is worth fighting for, and if it is, don’t leave it too late.