Why Couples Need a Couples Counselor
Do you and your spouse have a couples counselor? You should. I say that confidently without even knowing anything about your relationship.
Romantic relationships are tough. They are the most vulnerable relationships we have, challenging our feelings of attachment, security, love, and respect. Even a healthy relationship will experience obstacles.
Having an established couples counselor will allow you to have a trusted third party who knows your background, your unique strengths and weaknesses, and can help you problem solve for long-term resolutions and consequently, deeper connection.
You don’t need to be in crisis to participate in couples counseling. If you go when things are good, you grow stronger and have a resource established for when you face challenges.
Life transitions like marriage, kids, death, health issues, job changes, or moving are common causes of conflict or distance in a relationship. Life-changing events alter the way we view the world.
When two people are adjusting in such significant ways, the risk of miscommunication is high. Miscommunication can quickly trigger feelings of resentment, abandonment, and diminish desire for one another. It begins a downward spiral that can put the relationship in jeopardy.
In couples counseling, we teach different ways of communicating to help couples understand each other more effectively. When conflict is handled effectively, it leads to deeper connection rather than distance.
Each partner in a relationship has a set of tools for communicating. We are often unaware that we are missing tools that potentially could have a positive impact on the outcome of the conflict. Couples counseling offers awareness, skills, and application of new tools. The result is a change of communication patterns.
Over the years, couples will typically have repeated conflicts that fall under certain themes, such as finances, sex, parenting, household management, or work-life balance. With more effective tools to communicate, the next step is finding resolution.
When there is no resolution or the conflict ends with only one partner’s needs getting met, the conflict surfaces again in the near future. A couples counselor is emotionally removed from the conflict and can help you see beyond option A or B solutions and consider D, E, F, and G options that might meet both partners' needs with a healthy compromise.
This year during the focus of Valentines Day, I encourage you to treat your relationship to a couples counselor. Take time to find a therapist both of you feel comfortable with and can trust. It’s OK to meet with different counselors until you find the right fit. Going to couples counseling does not mean something is wrong with your relationship. It means you value your relationship enough to prioritize it, nurture it, and have a desire to continue to grow together.