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Every relationship has its rough patches. At one point or another, most long-term relationships enter couples counseling. The reasons are many, such as trust issues, toxicity, and other harder to pin down issues.
Entering into couples counseling is not a sign that your relationship is about to end, or that your relationship is in any way ‘weaker’ than other relationships. But when do you know it’s time for your relationship to enter counseling?
Lack of Communication
Communication within a relationship can be difficult, and sometimes it is best to have a buffer, a third party, or an impartial presence in the room to figure out any problems.
According to Dr. Mariyam Ahmed & Associates Registered Psychologists, “it is not uncommon for couples to struggle with communication… even couples with a great relationship may find that at times they are… finding it difficult to express their thoughts, opinions, or concerns to their partner.
Because communication is vital to any relationship, and sometimes when you’re in the midst of it, it’s hard to tell the difference between healthy and unhealthy communication.
There are few things more meaningful in a relationship than excellent communication. A counselor can help you understand what good communication is and how to communicate more consciously with your partner.
Cheating is undoubtedly one of the greatest killers of relationships and marriages. It’s also one of the hardest things to bounce back from for a relationship, but it’s not impossible. And having a third party present while dealing with infidelity issues can be vital.
This is because, after cheating, there can be lots of confusing, difficult, and angry emotions to work through for both parties.
Many bad or unhealthy behaviors can threaten a relationship, some of which are more immediately destructive than others. Some more obvious examples can include heavy drinking, drug use, and gambling.
But it can also include less clear negative behaviors, such as playing too many video games or acting rude in public. Generally, with these sorts of behaviors, there is no intention to hurt the partner.
The person who is behaving badly may not even realize that there is a problem. A third party can be very helpful in understanding this and coming to a mutually agreed-upon solution.
Major Life Changes
There are significant events, both good and bad, that can be stressful both personally and within a relationship. This can include the birth or death of a child, the loss of or starting a new job, buying a house, and innumerable other possibilities.
Going through one of these changes can seem isolating, and can create perceived distance from a partner. Seeing a counselor can help you move through the changes together in a healthy, life-affirming way.
The effects of counseling on a relationship can be tremendous and can open new avenues and chapters within the relationship. Sometimes the reasons for counseling can be less clear-cut than the issues mentioned above, but that does not make the desire for counseling any less vital or valid.
It takes time and hard work to build and maintain a strong relationship or marriage, and sometimes it is best not to have to do it alone.