12 Signs You Need Couples Counseling

We’re always hearing that we could be having better sex, a better orgasm, or a better relationship. But how often do we hear the nitty-gritty of how we can actually better understand our deepest desires and most embarrassing questions? 

The following are the signs you need couples counseling

1. You Fight All The Time

Let’s start with the obvious. If you and your partner can’t seem to have a conversation without fighting, it’s time to learn how to communicate more effectively. Couples are always going to have fights, but there are healthy and not-so-healthy ways to disagree (for example, name-calling or yelling). Therapy can help you learn how to diffuse arguments, speak to each other more calmly, and ensure you treat each other with respect.

2. You Bicker Constantly

We’ve all joked about the “old married couples” who bicker all the time, but little tiffs can be just as harmful to a relationship as larger fights. Bickering has a way of wearing down the goodwill that exists between a couple, and makes every little interaction feel irritating. It’s exhausting! Sometimes we bicker because there are larger issues we’re trying to ignore. Sometimes it’s because we don’t know effective ways of communicating. Sometimes we don’t even realize how badly or frequently we’re doing it. Whatever your particular reasons, a therapist can help you cut down on your bickering significantly. When Your Marriage Needs Counseling

3. You Feel Like You’re Speaking Different Languages

never tolerate disrespect

Fighting isn’t the only sign that something’s off in your communication habits. Sometimes it can seem like there’s no possible way you and your partner are both speaking the same language — what you think you’re saying is so far from what your partner thinks they heard, and vice versa. Therapy can help you understand the differences in your natural communication styles, and can teach each of you to adapt your style to work better together.

4. You Pretend Everything Is Fine

It’s a common experience: You meet someone new, and things are going great — but after a short time, you’re left wondering what went wrong. If you find yourself longing for more time with someone who has lost interest, you are not alone. Terms like “ghosting” and “benching” have been coined to explain this experience. The list below provides reasons why people suddenly lose interest and suggestions to prevent it from happening again. 1. Low confidence — One of the most common reasons why people lose interest is because the person they’re dating lacks confidence. Confidence counts for a lot. Consider a person — and we all know at least one — who is physically unattractive, yet has many dating options. The reason they do so well is that people are drawn to their confidence. Insecurities may not be obvious right from the start, which is why two people could go out a few times before one person has a change of heart. What can you do about it? Boost your confidence! High self-esteem results from being comfortable in your own skin and excelling in valued domains. Ask yourself, what parts of your life do you want to improve upon? If you feel insecure about your body, prioritize getting in shape. If you are insecure about your job, enroll in courses that will get you to your desired profession. Even working towards those goals will boost your esteem. Keep in mind, there may be some things you cannot change. In that case, tackle what’s malleable and accept the things that are not under your control. 2. Caring too much — Some people are desperately seeking a relationship. They are unhappy on their own and long for someone to spend their life with. Dating partners quickly pick up on — and are turned off by — this quality. Well-rounded individuals, by contrast, are comfortable on their own; they don’t need a partner to feel whole. What can you do about it? If you find yourself in this situation, come to terms with the idea of remaining single for the rest of your life. Once you feel comfortable with this notion, you are ready for a healthy partnership. It could be difficult, at first, to accept this possibility, but it will force you to reflect on who you want to become as an individual. Then, when the time is right, that special person will come into your life and add to who you are, not serve to complete you. 3. Bad timing — If none of the above applies to you, then perhaps the partner lost interest because the timing wasn’t right. We have no way of knowing all that is going on in someone’s life — may be the person is already in a relationship, maybe they are still getting over someone, the list goes on and on. The phrase “It’s not me, it’s you” applies here. You have high confidence, are perfectly happy on your own, and available for that person to enter your life, but if they aren’t in the same place, none of that will matter. What can you do about it? Be okay with the unexplainable. You can’t understand everything; some things in life are a mystery. Have faith that if the relationship is meant to be, it will work out when the timing is right for both people. In the meantime, get busy doing things for yourself, like eating right, exercising, spending time with family and friends, and being open to receiving all the positive experiences life has in store for you. 4. Too much too soon — Sometimes both people are in a good place, ready to start a relationship, but after a hot and heavy start, the spark fizzles out. What went wrong? This can happen when a relationship accelerates too fast and has nowhere to go but down. The physical attraction that draws two people together is often so intense that the partners want to spend all their time together, and when they’re apart, they’re texting constantly and obsessively thinking about each other. Although this can be fun and exciting, the risk is that the relationship doesn’t last. What can you do about it? Be deliberate about a relationship’s progression. Even when you’re starting a new relationship, and things are going great, balance is important. Don’t neglect important people or aspects of your life when you get into a new partnership. Also, work on building the friendship within your new relationship. The most satisfying, long-lasting partnerships have a balance of passion and companionship. You want to ensure that you and your partner have things in common, beyond the physical chemistry. If you follow everything on this list and still find yourself being benched or ghosted, don’t fret. As stated above, people have things going on that you will never understand. A person who doesn’t prioritize you isn’t worth your time and effort, so don’t get stuck on them. Keep an open mind, work on yourself, and have faith that you are right where you need to be. Book appointment with John

Some couples outwardly bicker or fight, but other couples try to brush things under the rug. If you find yourself ignoring important issues or trying to pretend everything is OK, you might want to think about therapy instead. Keeping it all inside works for a while, but it’s never an effective long-term strategy. A therapist can help you learn how to tackle issues head-on in ways that feel safe and manageable to both of you.

5. The Same Issues Keep Coming Up

You’re probably always going to have to bug your partner about taking out the trash or being on time for dates, but I’m talking about the important issues, like whether or not you’re going to have kids or get married. If it feels like you and your partner can never resolve issues, or you keep going around and around in circles, therapy can help get to the root of the issue and figure out whether you’re actually compatible.

6. You’re About To Make A Big Life Change

Things don’t always have to be bad for you to go to therapy! It can be helpful to get some guidance when when you’re about to hit a big milestone, like moving in together, getting engaged or married, or deciding to have children. A therapist can help you anticipate what’s to come, prepare for the changes ahead, and work together as a team towards your shared goals.

7. You’re Not On The Same Page About Sex

sexual chemistry

I had to throw at least one sex-related item on the list! Sex is one of the main reasons couples fight (along with kids, and money, which we’ll get to in a moment). You might argue because you have mismatched sex drives, because one of you wants to explore something the other doesn’t, or because it feels like the chemistry is gone in your relationship. I typically recommend seeing a sex therapist for sexual issues, but some general psychotherapists will also work with sex.

8. You Have Different Views About Money

This is one of the other biggest issues in relationships. Almost every couple will have some sort of fight about money. One person usually likes to spend more money, or only likes spending money on specific things. You might fight about how to split up your share of expenses. Or you might have anxieties about not having enough money. Couples therapy can help you understand your relationships with money and find ways to compromise about your finances.

9. You Want Different Things Out Of Your Relationship

Relationships can be so damn hard sometimes — it’s tricky enough finding a person you want to go out on a second date with, much less be in a relationship with. Then you have to figure out if you both want the same things out of your relationship! One person might want to be monogamous while the other wants to be monogamish. Or one person might want marriage and children, while the other doesn’t. A therapist can help you understand if your goals are compatible.

10. You’re Thinking About — Or Have Had — An Affair

People have affairs for an infinite number of reasons — wanting to get back at their partner, seeking sexual release, going through a quarter-life crisis — but it’s almost always a sign that something is broken in the relationship. If you’re feeling tempted to break the boundaries of your relationship, it’s better to ask your partner to go to counseling with you now rather than go through with the affair and deal with the consequences later. If you or your partner have had an affair, you really don’t want to try to get through it without counseling. Infidelity is one of the most challenging things a relationship can go through, and you need that extra support.

11. Your Partner Wants It

Partners aren’t always on the same page about what they want. That can be true when it comes to therapy too. It’s a sign of care and respect to go to therapy if your partner asks you to. It doesn’t matter if you don’t think you need therapy, or if you don’t quite understand therapy. If your partner wants to give it a try, and asks for your participation in a respectful way, you should honor that request.

12. You Want To Have A Healthy Relationship

Therapy is truly not a bad thing! We see personal trainers to help us get in shape. We work with executive coaches when we want to figure out our next career move. There’s always something new for us to learn in every aspect of our lives, and working with experienced experts can help us learn so much faster and more effectively. Going to therapy is a sign that you value your relationship, your partner, and yourself. It certainly isn’t a sign that things are doomed.

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