When is the Right Time for Couples to Start Therapy?
Your romantic relationship sits at the centre of your life, and how it is going will positively or negatively impact other aspects of your life. When your relationship with your spouse is going well, you feel happier, have more energy to concentrate on your career, studies, or family, and perhaps even have more energy to hit the gym if that’s your thing. On the other hand, if your relationship is having trouble, you may feel distracted, and your mind may be preoccupied with finding solutions to your relationship problems. Because of this preoccupation, you may have less energy to contribute to your work, school, or even relationships with family and friends, and you probably aren’t even in the mood to work out or go to the gym.
Couples usually try to improve the quality of their relationship on their own using the skills they have acquired from their parents, peers, or previous relationships. Even though couple therapy has a success rate of %75, only %37 of divorced couples sought relationship counselling before their divorce, and only %31 of couples attended relationship education programmes.
Unfortunately, on average, couples wait SIX years before trying any form of marriage counselling or couple therapy. So let’s look at what often happens over these six years. In the beginning, couples may experience difficulty in managing disagreements and general conflicts. The mismanagement of conflicts leaves them both feeling misunderstood. Their used-to-be small arguments intensify and escalate over time, leading to fights and accumulated unresolved issues in the relationship. Gradually, they harbour resentments towards one another and lose interest in each other’s lives. At this point, they might start noticing that their relationship issues affect their sexual and intimate lives as well. They start feeling emotionally distant, disconnected and lonely in their relationship.
They begin to feel more like housemates than partners and feel like they are living parallel lives.
As a result of those ineffective attempts, many couples arrive at my office feeling understandably exhausted and sometimes hopeless. They tell me their hope for a better relationship and connection has brought them here, and couple therapy is their last resort.
So let’s look at the Ten most common signs that might be telling you it is time for couple therapy;
- When you feel alone in the relationship,
- When you have lost desire for intimacy or affection,
- When you lack interest in spending time together,
- When the thought of going home does not excite you,
- When you feel your partner does not know you anymore,
- When you argue over things you consider “small stuff”,
- When your argument escalates quickly or lasts for days,
- When you feel hurt after a fight,
- When there are issues with trust in the relationship,
- When you start thinking, maybe this is not the right relationship for you.
Don’t hesitate to contact me if you experience any of the above ten signs.
Sometimes time does not heal all wounds; it makes them worst.
I wish you all the best.