A communication break-down in a marriage, partnership, or any relationship is one of the main reasons people seek couples therapy. Perhaps the partnership has slowly become accustomed to negative patterns of communication and interaction. You may be feeling frustrated, unloved, alone, concerned, lost, or even embarrassed about your relationship.
Conflict is almost always an unavoidable aspect of every relationship. If you and your partner know how to work through differences in healthy ways, experiences may enhance your love and partnership. However, often anger, contention, fear, and worry tend to obstruct a couple’s ability to manage conflict.
Why might the two of you enter couples therapy?
- You disagree and/or argue much more than you like
- You struggle with communicating, especially about issues that are most important
- One or both of you feel isolated or emotionally all alone
- One or both of you feel upset, resentful, or even bitter about unmet expectations
- Parenting issues – not on the same page with discipline styles or expectations
- One or both of your desire for sexual intimacy has dissipated or even vanished
- One or both of you have experienced emotional and/or physical infidelity
Perhaps conflict between you and your partner are a regular occurrence, or maybe ongoing stressful issues are causing an increase in contention and distance in your relationship. If you find yourselves avoiding one another or using hostile words that cause emotional pain, couples therapy might be a viable solution.
Love may conquer all in many pop songs and sayings, but if you’ve been in a relationship long enough, you know it’s not always reality. No matter how much two people care for each other, they can find themselves confused, sad, or lonely because of a crisis, an unanticipated action or behavior, or a disruption in life circumstances. Marriage and family challenges account for about half of all visits to therapy. Individual therapy can often help you consider issues in different and new ways to produce favorable remedies, but couples therapy has the benefit of focusing directly on the relationship with both partners present. A couple’s therapist can help you and your partner identify and work through a current or ongoing issue in your relationship together to develop strategies for developing a better understanding of each other’s emotional needs. They will also assist you with identifying and eliminating misunderstandings, unreasonable expectations, and mistaken assumptions that perpetuate conflict.
It generally takes time before you realize that couples therapy is working. Your issues have likely been going on for quite some time. Changing patterns and behaviors does not happen quickly. You should plan on committing to at least 2-3 months of therapy and then evaluating your progress.