When you get married, all you can think about is how much you love your partner, and how much fun you’re going to have together. Then, somehow, things change and you become unhappy.
Everything may always seem to be the other person’s fault. Maybe your wife has shut down, pulled away and does not talk to you anymore. Maybe your husband is constantly yelling, seems disappointed in his life and expresses frustration often. Or, maybe there is nothing, just nothing. No emotion. No feelings.
If any of these scenarios fit your marriage, it won’t surprise you to be told that you should seek marriage counseling. Let a counselor help you define the problems you are having, and work together on a plan to repair it.
What about recognizing the warning signs of marriage problems? After all, if you can recognize when problems are beginning, getting the help you need earlier can make the process of repairing your relationship go more quickly.
Signs You Need marriage Counseling
While not an exhaustive list, here some signs that you and your spouse should go see a marriage counselor. If you feel reluctant to go, consider that often couples, once they’ve started counseling, say they wish they’d started earlier.
- You’re not talking
- You talk, but it’s always negative
- You’re afraid to talk
- You’ve become adversaries
- Affection is withheld as punishment
- You keep secrets
- You disagree on parenting children
- One or both partners is considering an affair, or one has had an affair
- You’re just roommates/living separate lives
- You don’t know how to work out differences
- One partner acts out on negative feelings
- The only solution seems to be separation
- You’re only staying together for the children
- When you’re financially unfaithful or have financial problems
- When you have a gambling or substance addiction
- When you want the other person to change
- When you argue over the same little thing again and again
Therapy, Important for a Relationship
Therapy can be an important part of your relationship, and couples should seek help long before they think they need to. Like anything else, problems start small and grow when not resolved.
A counselor can not only be an impartial party to listen to both sides and help couples see the truth of what is happening—often different than either one thinks it is—but they can give couples tools to use when there is a conflict or disagreement. Changing the dynamic and not falling back into the same routines can be important.
Rather than viewing counseling as the solution to a crisis, look at it as an integral aspect of a healthy life, suggested Ashley N. Grinonneau-Denton, marriage and family therapist. “Every couple should take preventive measures to maintain health in their relationship, just like going to the gym,” she told CNN. “If couples don’t work their relational and emotional ‘muscles,’ they become un-toned, weak, and create more of a chance of damage being done to their relationship.”
If you have children, moving into family counseling is an excellent choice, once you have worked together as a couple and are making progress. Family counseling can help you identify your triggers, and learn to work around them so they are no longer stumbling blocks.
If you are struggling with your marriage, no matter if the problems are big or small, we encourage you to contact us. We will assist in clearly defining the problem and creating a plan to repair it, according to your needs. We will set goals and ensure that you can experience measurable progress.