In the beginning of a relationship, everything seems easy. You and your spouse embarking in the world full of possibilities as a new couple. It is also a fact that every relationship has ups and downs. It’s hard to know the difference between a passing rough patch and a more serious situation that isn’t going to change on its own.
Are you and your partner fighting all the time and just not getting along? And when one or both of you start thinking about separation or divorce, it is time to assess your relationship seriously. But if you think there is still a chance to work things out, attending marriage counselling can help a great deal. At what point should you consider marriage counselling? Here are 10 signs you need to visit a marriage counselor and get help.
1) Communication: Communication can really make or break a relationship. Almost every couple we see has an issue with communication. Maybe your partner reacted to something you said because they heard it differently. Maybe you keep having the same fights over and over because you are not communicating in the way that your partner understands. Both of you need to seriously consider getting marriage counselling if you guys don’t understand each other.
2) Affairs/ Infidelity: Fantasising about having an affair is a sign that you desire something different from what you currently have. While it is possible for a relationship to survive even when a partner has cheated, it’s better to get help before such a thing happens. If both of you are committed to the healing process and are being honest, the marriage may be salvaged.
3) Financial Infidelity: If one partner keeps his or her spouse in dark about spending, or needs to control everything related to money, it is going to cause trouble when the other should bring up the topic of family finances. Unresolved differences in spending and saving, choices to spend money on, unequal division of finances, and resentments of past spending behavior, or lack of a partner’s financial contribution in running the household as previously agreed upon, are all signs for brewing problem and need for attending counselling to manage both partners financial responsibilities.
4) Decided on divorce: When you both have decided to get a divorce, are you sure? Do either one or both of you believe that divorce is the only option? What about the kids? How will you continue to co-parent? What will the living arrangements be? If you don’t have kids, how will you tell your friends and family? What is appropriate and inappropriate for both of you? The help of marriage counselor can be very helpful when navigating these rough waters and bringing you safely back towards the shore i.e. back to each other.
5) Intimacy issues in the bedroom: Sometimes sex can also be used as a weapon of sorts in relationships. It is common for couples to either demand sex or withhold it to get the things they want from their partner or to manipulate their behaviour. If the sex life with your partner has declined despite both of your efforts to fuel desire, therapy is in order. When you feel like the intimacy in your marriage is in disarray, a therapist could help you unearth the real cause and resolve the issue.
6) Separate lives: Constantly doing things separately and not just because one is very busy or has to stay home to watch kids, or do households works are silent signs that your marriage is struggling. Yes, couples should do things on their own as well. But if you are always doing things separately, it’s an indication that maybe you two are disconnected from each other. This calls for marriage counselling sessions to reconnect, revive and get closer to each other one more time.
7) Negative feelings: A person may be hurting inside if he/she keeps his/her negative feelings such as resentment and disappointment bottled-up. Even if we are able to mask these feelings for a while, they are bound to surface. It’s so easy for us to be negative than to be positive. The critical inner voice is the language of this enemy. It is an internal dialogue that promotes self-loathing and self-blame. It tells us not to trust the people we love and stops us from reaching our goal. A qualified therapist can help a couple sort out negative feelings and find better ways to express them.
8) Grieving a loss: Grief is personal and men and women tend to grieve differently. Whether you have experienced a miscarriage, loss of a parent, or loss of a friend, you will experience grief for that loss. No matter what kind of loss you have suffered, you are likely to experience a wide range of emotions. Grief tends to push feelings of loneliness, guilt, anxiety, and isolation on us. Some couples get closer because of grief whereas many become distant and strained. At these times, counselling can help speed up the recovery process and make the relationship even stronger.
9) Abusing alcohol or drugs: When one of the partner abuses drugs or alcohol, it can put a lot of strain on the relationship. People with such partners are unhappy in their relationship than the couples whose partners don’t abuse drugs or alcohol. As drinking or drug use gets worse, it starts to take more and more time away from the couple creating emotional distance. It ensues more and frequent fights between the partners. Counselling can help put a stop to this behaviour.
10) Differing parenting styles: Different parenting styles can cause friction in the relationship. There is a lot going on in a relationship, lots of compromises and sacrifices. Add to this, responsibilities of parenting and you have just upped your stress level. With different parenting techniques, there is bound to be conflicts. Before these differences cause any harm to the relationship, seek out counselling to become a better parent and role model for the child as well as saving the couple’s bond.
Getting professional help for your relationship sooner rather than later is an investment in the future of your family. If you have any questions regarding marriage counselling or want to attend one, contact us via email or via phone +61 (0)408 726 544/ +61 (0)410 422 358. We are here to help you out!