Why do couples seek therapy (or counseling, or mentoring)?
We each come to our relationships with our own unique histories, expectations, needs, and fears—and these are often quite different from our partner’s. On the bright side, differences can be part of what draws us to someone or enables us to broaden our worlds and enrich our lives. However, profound differences in the way we and a partner behave, think, and communicate can be challenging to a relationship, especially over time. Maybe traits you once found charming begin to drive you a little crazy; perhaps a more serious problem—like infidelity, depression, conflicts over money, parenting, time and sex—chip away at your happiness. Although you might hope your troubles clear up on their own, the truth is that when left alone to simmer, relationship difficulties tend to get worse. Feelings of rage, sadness, confusion and blame can take on a life of their own. That’s when couples often ask me to help them bring their relationship back from the brink.
What are some of the key issues that bring people into couples counseling?
The details of every couple’s problem are unique, but they fall into some common categories. Below are the most frequently addressed concerns:
- Communication problems
- Daily stresses that undermine connection
- Lifestyle challenges
- Sexual problems (see my section on Sex Therapy, too.)
- Trust issues
- Arguments & resentments over past hurts
- Emotional clashes
- Cultural clashes
- Major life changes
- Thoughts of divorce or break-up
- Identity and role conflict
- Gender issues or roles
- Dependence vs. independence
- Power struggles
When Should a Couple Seek Help?
Couples often seek help when they feel in despair of ever rekindling the love and connection they once felt. Often, they wait until they’re on the edge of splitting up to schedule an appointment with me, thereby making the process of healing their relationship much tougher than it could have been, had they begun sooner. After all, relationships don’t dissolve overnight; it takes time for love to erode. The more detached from one another two people come to feel, the longer it will take to regain lost trust, affection and resolve. That’s why I suggest that even if you’re just beginning to think about couples counseling, it’s best not to wait another moment. Drop me an email so we can set up an initial consultation. Let me help you find your way back toward each other—sooner rather than later.