Every marriage has its ups and downs. There can even be emotional eruptions from time to time. But how can you tell if your marital relationship is normal or needs an intervention? When is it necessary to consider couples counseling? Will that actually help?
Normal Bumps in Marital Relationships versus Major Marital Crisis
Sharing the same roof can be challenging even for two people who are deeply committed to each other by marriage. Whether it is the neglect of the spouse due to overwork, miscommunication, shuffling of parenting duties, or reaching an agreement over vacation specifics, emotions can ride high between a married couple. You need to learn how to negotiate boundaries and reach compromises.
But there are things in a marriage which is beyond these normal bumps and cannot be compromised. There are signs when a marriage is in crisis. First, you and your spouse cannot seem to have a conversation without fighting. It shows that the negative emotions you harbor for each other have accumulated to the fullest extent. You have lost the ability to speak with each other calmly and respectfully, even in front of your children.
The second sign of a marital crisis is that you and your spouse are not talking to each other and pretending everything is fine. Brushing things under the rug won’t save this relationship if you keep ignoring important issues. This mutual stonewalling may disrupt your sex life. Married couples who do not have a regular sex life are in deep crisis because sexual intimacy is at the core of a healthy marriage.
The last sign is that you and your spouse are contemplating having an extramarital affair with other people. At this point, the boundaries of this marriage are disintegrating. Infidelity is one of the most challenging things a marriage can go through. If the possibility of an affair seems higher, or if one of you wants out, it has come to the time for some serious intervention.
Benefits of Couples Counseling
Couples counseling is a form of emotionally-focused therapy (EFT). This intervention can be beneficial to married couples at various points of their marriage. For example, younger couples may learn how to establish healthy community habits. The beginning years of marriage are important because they lay a foundation for the entire family system. Communication patterns tend to solidify during this time, affecting both partners’ emotional health and their future generation.
In the area of couples counseling, the earlier intervention can always lead to better outcomes than delaying. Premarital couples therapy can also help those in dating relationships to improve their interactions and resolve conflicts. Both partners may use this opportunity to examine how their family histories have shaped their personalities, sense of responsibility, communication patterns, and emotional habits. This kind of counseling can help establish realistic expectations that set a marriage off to a good start.
Finding a Marital Relationship Therapist
Health professionals who can offer marital counseling include clinical psychologists, registered family therapists, licensed clinical social workers, and licensed counselors. When looking for a therapist, you can start by asking around for referrals. Also, remember to take advantage of the free consultation sessions that many counselors offer for new clients.
During your first meeting, you should explore whether a particular counselor has relevant experiences and suits your need and communication style. You need to choose wisely because the counselor-client relationship in this scenario can greatly impact how much you benefit from therapy.
Apart from traditional in-person couples counseling, there are more and more online options that may fit your busy schedule without having to commute. For some people, face-to-face couples counseling might seem anxiety-triggering. In this case, online counseling options are better.
You should expect your own personal history and family history to emerge during the first few sessions. Prepare yourself for discomfort because the counselor might ask questions regarding sex life and somewhat private information regarding your marriage. It is always best to be honest and transparent so that the counselor can best assist your relationship to improve.
Working with A Couples Counselor
Of course, you do not need to wait for your marriage to hit rock bottom before starting couples counseling. When you have the same arguments going on unresolved, couples counseling might help remove that major roadblock. A counselor can focus on coaching you on how to communicate effectively and modify unhealthy talk patterns.
Most people tend to delay interventions until they cannot handle them on their own. There is after all stigma associated with marital distress. But making the choice to begin couples counseling shows that you still want to save this marriage. Denialism of the problems has failed. Now it is time to sober up and face reality. By investing time in these couples counseling sessions, you and your partner can have a new beginning and restart stronger.
Are you struggling with marital distress? Does your relationship with your partner tend to be conflict-ridden? Maybe it is time that you consider couples counseling, a form of emotionally-focused therapy (EFT). This intervention can be beneficial to married couples at various points of their marriage. Whether you are just beginning a committed relationship, or you have been married for many years, couples counseling can help smooth out the tensions and lay a foundation for the entire family system. Earlier intervention can always lead to better outcomes than delaying. If you are looking for experienced counselors and relationship experts, you do not need to look beyond Sober Life Recovery. Here we have a group of trained health professionals and we value a holistic approach while focusing on individualized care for relationship problems. You will benefit from our family-based intervention approach. Good relations between a couple may begin with Sober Life. Do not delay. Call us today at (619) 542-9542.