When getting married, every couple thinks that they’re going to live a happy, great life, awaiting their own “happily ever after.” When married life begins, no one thinks of the challenges it imminently implies, and how much work it involves on behalf of each partner. Still, it’s only right, as things that are valuable are the ones we should fight for the most. There may come a time in your relationship that you may need to see a marriage counselor.
But every relationship has its ups and downs, and even if your marriage is going through a rough patch, there’s no reason to despair. A marriage counselor can really help you to reconnect with your partner, and get your relationship back on track.
But, the following question naturally emerges – how do we know we need marriage counseling? Here come some basic signs that indicate you are in need of couples counseling.
You No Longer Communicate
The main problem most married people face is that of an ineffective communication. While it may not seem that serious, marriage counselors admit that the root of all marriage problems is poor communication. The moment you no longer feel the need to relate to your partner, and express your feelings and emotions, then something’s not right.
Ana and Kevin have been married for two years’ time. Because of their hectic lifestyle and the busy schedule they had, they unconsciously allowed a distance to settle between them, and they hardly communicated. Their everyday routine has managed to prevent them from relating to one another, and they have literally become two strangers living in the same house.
So, they turned to marriage counseling, and it helped them to connect with one another. They found new ways to communicate more effectively, and the counselor managed to point what was deficient about their relationship. As they acknowledged that, they succeeded in getting over this rough time, and experienced a fresh, reinvigorated relationship.
Your Communication Becomes Negative
Even worse than an ineffective communication, stands alone a bickering, negative communication. What does negative communication refer to? Normally, anything that makes your partner feel disregarded, ashamed, disrespected or judged counts as negative communication.
Also, if the tone of your voice while addressing your partner shouts negativity, this can be perceived as negative communication.
You Don’t Want to Talk About Your Problems
Another clear pointer that you may need couples therapy is when you feel as if you don’t want to bring up the problems you and your partner are dealing with. Whether this comes out of feelings of guilt or fear, this isn’t normal, as you probably already know.
Normally, the job of a marriage counselor would be to help you and your partner settle the real causes to this problem so that you can deal with the underlying issues and surpass them.
You No Longer Show Your Affection
If you feel as if you might want to show your love and compassion to your partner, but, instead, you don’t because you want to punish him/her for his/her behavior, this is not right.
Teresa would stay angry at Collin for several days because of various little things that she found annoying, and would choose to punish him by giving him the silent treatment, instead of voicing her feelings. She kept collecting negative emotions associated with her husband’s behavior and became more and more frustrated at him.
When you ignore someone with the silent treatment it is a massive disregard and a passive aggressive way to attack and deepen the hurt between the two of you.
She felt a destructive urge to punish him. Such an attitude is utterly harmful, and it’s only obvious that it doesn’t foster a healthy, balanced relationship.
Normally, such an attitude has its roots in other past issues; a marriage counselor will help you and your partner acknowledge that. And if you are convinced to work for your marriage, you should get back on track.
You Convey Your Partner as the “Bad Guy”
The moment you no longer think of yourself and your partner as a team, there’s a big problem. Conveying your partner as if he/she was the “bad guy”, imminently makes you adopt the “victimizing attitude” that is utterly destructive to your marriage.
Teresa felt entitled to punish Collin for his behavior, because she felt as if she was a victim of their marriage, Collin being a “bad guy” who wanted to hurt her on purpose.
The fact is that, we are all humans, and we make mistakes whether we like to admit it or not.
A relationship in which unity no longer exists will only lead to a myriad of problems. Couples therapy can help you deal with your personal problems and, this way, you’ll no longer blame your partner for everything that is happening to you.
When you Feel as if Everything Would be Perfect if He/She Would Change
Every marriage is the union of two imperfect people, who willingly choose to become a family and support one another. Still, as troubles begin to shadow their marriage, and they always do, most people tend to put the whole blame on the other one, thinking “if only he/she would change, it would be entirely different!”
The truth is, such thoughts are utterly destructive. The only person you can actually change is yourself, and this can be quite difficult as well. Changing your partner might be an impossible mission, especially given the biased, victimizing attitude most people choose to adopt.
In this situation, a counselor might help you to comprehend what you want from your relationship, and deal with your problems together, instead of putting the whole blame on your partner. Also, marriage counseling will help you come up with more effective ways of relating to each other, and fostering a healthy, balanced relationship.
The more you wait, the harder it will be to get back on track.
Research points that couples who deal with these problems wait up to six years until they turn to counseling. This is quite troubling, as waiting for too long to find effective solutions to your problems will only damage your relationship terribly, leading to negativity interwoven in every little detail of your life.
Getting professional help will help your relationship and will be a positive investment for fostering a healthy family. If you feel like dealing with a crisis, don’t run away from it, but opt for couples counseling instead.
Choosing a Counselor
When looking for someone to support you and your partner not only look at their education but pay attention to what kind of counselor they are. Are they a specialist in any specific area? Do they have testimonials? Can you have a introductory visit or call to see if they are a good match?
It is imperative that you work with someone that you both feel can be a neutral and non invested as possible. You want someone who can be objective and create clarity and directness without bias.
As I stated above, go sooner than later. The more time you spend gathering justification for being a victim or feeling that it is “them” the more difficult it will be to shift to a bigger viewpoint yourself.
In my many 100’s of people that I have coached I have found that it is never just one person that is the contributor to any differences you may have. Each person must be able to see and own his part in the difficulties that you are experiencing.
Ideally, the counselor can help you both feel safe enough to give up defensiveness and blame and support the outcome that both of you will feel good and motivated to experience. This can help you both experience a strong, happy and healthier relationship.
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Author: Esateys Stuchiner
Esateys (pronounced Ee sáh teez) is an International Life Transformational Speaker, Author, Master Facilitator, Life Coach and Expert in the Human condition. She is a Nationally and Board Certified Nurse Practitioner. For over 30 years, she has practiced, taught and lectured extensively in the allopathic and alternative medicine field.
Esateys is known for her groundbreaking work in the areas of personal empowerment and health restoration using mindset and inner connection as the catalyst for all change.
Esateys describes herself as the ‘Architect of the New You’ and has dedicated her life and professional career to helping her clients create “New Beginnings” by facilitating self empowerment, economic freedom and restored health.
For more information, go to esateys.com.