Marriage Counseling: Why You Should Consider It
Conflict within a relationship is normal and, in some cases, healthy. Little arguments here and there can be unsettling, however these tend to roll over rather quickly and can strengthen your relationship as they are resolved. While disagreements on occasion are normal, some ongoing battles such as finances, sex or even the coronavirus can lead to deep rooted cracks in your relationship. It is important to be aware of these changes and seek help sooner rather than later.
What is Marriage Counseling?
Marriage counseling or “Couples Therapy” is a counseling service that focuses on resolving conflict and improving the relationship. Through marriage counseling you can make more thoughtful decisions that will ultimately help rebuild the relationship or assist in moving on in a healthy way. Marriage counseling often includes both partners, but it is not uncommon for partners to work with a therapist separately.
Do I Need Marriage Counseling?
If you’re wondering if you and your partner need marriage counseling, chances are it would be beneficial to improving your relationship. If you’re experiencing any of the nine reasons below or you just feel like it would be helpful to have a professional third-party present for any difficult discussions, you should deeply consider visiting a marriage counselor near you.
9 Reasons Why You Should Seek Marriage Counseling
- You have grown apart. Sometimes partners can forget what brought them together in the first place. This often happens when two people have been together for a long period of time and have built a routine lifestyle. Marriage and family therapy can help rediscover and reignite what was once there but simply forgotten over time.
- It’s always about money. Finances play a big role within any household, specifically when shared between two people. This can become even more stressful when you factor in children, mortgages, medical bills and more. When finances become the main source of tension between two people, it can become hard to not blame these stressors on one another.
- Someone was unfaithful. An affair or infidelity within any relationship is devastating. One of the most common reasons for marriage and family counseling is attempting to fix a lack of trust. It is important to note that not all forms of infidelity or “cheating” are physical. Hiding information, or crossing the line are all forms of an emotional betrayal.
- The arguments are unproductive and hurtful. Often the reason for ongoing arguments is a result of negative emotions built up over time. These built up emotions can make it difficult to reason and understand your partner’s perspective. Conflicts aren’t always a bad thing – it’s the way people handle conflict that can make it unhealthy. Uncovering and understanding the problems behind the conflict will prevent ongoing arguments in the future.
- You have a poor sex life. An unfulfilling sex life can take its toll on any relationship. These feelings can be even more intense if all affection seems to have dramatically declined. Kisses on the cheek, hugs and active listening are all components of a healthy sex life. Even those who are still having sex may find that it feels meaningless or routine. When this happens, it’s important to seek tools to rediscover the intimacy between you and your partner so you can work together to create a sustainable sex life.
- Communication is not enjoyable or effective. Communication is a key player in every relationship, both friendly and intimate. Negative communication can leave you or your partner feeling depressed, insecure, or disregarded. Tone plays a big role; it’s not always what you say, but how you say it. Creating healthy boundaries and communication within your relationship will help prevent these unsettling feelings further developing.
- You’re just filling the space. When things become too routine, the relationship can feel less like a married couple and more like roommates. If you aren’t doing everything together, that’s still normal. The issues begin to surface when the routine feels more like a “cohabitation,” with a lack of communication or intimacy. Sorting out what is missing can help discover how to get it back and function the way it once did.
- You and your partner are only staying together for the kids. Staying married for the kids can seem like the only option at times. What most people don’t realize is that this can be just as damaging to the children as it is the couple. While staying together for the kids can be a detrimental move, if you are able to resolve these issues and move toward a healthy relationship, staying together could be the best decision for all involved.
- The only fix for your relationship seems like separation or divorce. Spending time away from one another, otherwise known as a “break” may seem healthy, however this time away often encourages unhealthy habits. When two partners decide to spend time apart, this reinforces that time away is healthy. When the two return, the issues are still there. Discovering and resolving these issues head on will foster a healthy, long lasting relationship.
Benefits of Marriage Counseling
Marriage counseling can seem like a big decision between two people, however three-fourths of those couples who choose marriage counseling say they benefited from the experience. There are more benefits to seeking marriage counseling than just feuds and infidelity.
Some of the ways marriage counseling can help mend or grow a marriage include:
- Developing a closer bond
- Help to heal old wounds
- Learn better communication so that you each feel heard
- Understand how to handle your partner’s unique emotions
- Better resolve conflicts as they arise
- Enhance your interaction as a couple
- Set priorities and goals as a team
- Become more supportive of each other
- Learn healthy parenting strategies
- Better manage life transitions
- Change behaviors that are holding you back as a couple
While the benefits of marriage counseling are great, it’s important to remember that choosing marriage counseling is a team commitment: both partners need to invest in the program or at least be open to making the first step. Most couples find that counseling either saved their marriage, or helped them better understand a reason for healthy separation.
Experienced Marriage Counselors in Florida
If you or your partner relate to any marital concerns, we encourage you to call our office. The team at McNulty Counseling and Wellness takes a holistic approach to promote balance in all areas of your life. We understand that not all couples alike, and can provide advice if your partner is resistant to trying couples therapy with you. We offer a variety of treatments to ensure that you are paired with your perfect program. Contact us here or call us at 727-344-9867 to schedule a remote marriage and family counseling consultation or an in-person session at our counseling office in the Tampa Bay Area.