At some point or another, you or your partner may have believed that seeing a couple’s counselor would be a good idea. However, it isn’t always obvious that a couple’s counselor is necessary. However, if you have been thinking about seeing one, here are a few indications that you need to see a couple’s counselor.
The most important aspect of any relationship is communication. Being actively engaged in dialogue with one another is the key to longevity. When issues arise in this department, if nothing is done about it the relationship will eventually diminish. Whether you and your partner[s] are no longer communicating, or your communication has become hostile, these are issues that can be helped with a third party --namely, a couple’s counselor. Sometimes, there might be an effort within the relationship to fix communication that simply doesn’t work. When such efforts have been futile, having an informed third party can help put things into perspective and provide clinical guidelines to improve issues with communication.
Issues with sex
Sex is a very important part of relationships. So much so, that sexual infidelity --the primary cause of which is sexual dissatisfaction-- is the leading cause of divorce amongst monogamous couples. When sex is an issue in a relationship, couples find it very difficult to talk about with one another. Sex is a very sensitive topic and many feel that they wish not to hurt their partner’s feelings by saying they are not sexually satisfied. However, all this serves to do is brew resentment and mistrust within the relationship. Going to couple’s counseling can help make such conversations less difficult, by fostering a safe environment to speak openly and honestly about difficult topics like sexual dissatisfaction.
It might be the case that trust has been broken within the relationship. Whether a partner has cheated or lied, one or more parties have acted in such a manner where now feelings of trust have become diminished. Couple’s therapy is a good option for this, as quite often when trust is broken, partners no longer feel safe communicating vulnerabilities to one another. The whole point of couple’s counseling is to communicate vulnerabilities openly and honestly. Doing so is the only way to restore trust.
Lack of Commitment
Let’s say you’ve been dating someone for a while and they make you happy. They’re cool to hang out with and sex is great. However, something might feel off. You’ve noticed that they aren’t very emotionally available when you’re feeling down and maybe you’ve asked for their help in the past and they haven’t been there for you. Maybe they are even hanging out with people behind your back. What you are realizing is that your partner is having issues with commitment. While you have the title “relationship” the way things are playing out is essentially like friends with benefits. This is an indication that a therapist is needed. The therapist can help your partner identify why they have issues with commitment and how to help them resolve such issues.
One of the most vulnerable things you can do is get into an intimate relationship with someone. Given how vulnerable such an endeavor is, you might begin to deal with delusional thoughts. “Maybe they’re out cheating?” “They don’t really love me. I don’t deserve love.” These sorts of thoughts, if suppressed or acted upon, might very well serve to undermine the sanctity of the relationship. Clearly, this is not something you want to happen. A couples therapist who is trained in cognitive behavioral therapy can help you deal with this.
If you are experiencing issues in your relationship which you have found unresolvable without a therapist, it might be time to see one. There is no shame in seeking help. Indeed, seeking help might be the difference between staying together and breaking up with your significant other.