Many couples have problems. In fact, part of the growth in a relationship is the slow resolution of conflicts, which can help build intimacy and trust. However, there are many couples who continue to have trouble and do not seek help. In fact, those problems may exist for years without either partner suggesting that they see a therapist for support.
It’s true that couples therapy is less common among the public than individual therapy. It’s more common for someone to engage in one-on-one therapy than it is for a couple to participate in therapy.
Nonetheless, there are some important reasons to seek therapeutic support, especially if your relationship is experiencing any of the following:
1. The communication between you and your partner has become negative. When negative feelings begin to arise for one or both individuals, it’s easy for the communication to go sour. What’s on the inside will often get expressed on the outside. Negative communication can exist when one or both partners feel withdrawn, angry, disappointed, or depressed. When there are hurt feelings along with negative communication, the results can erode the communication altogether as well as even bring on physical fighting.
2. When one or both parties in a relationship have an affair. If you’re in a committed relationship, whether you’re married or not, having an affair can be a sign that there’s a problem. Of course, if one or both of you are having an affair, then there’s a good chance that the needs of each of you are not getting met. Needs tend to go unmet when there’s little communication, intimacy, and time spent together.
3. When it feels like you’re roommates versus living together in a romantic partnership. When the two of you begin to simply co-exist and you’re relationship lacks emotional or physical intimacy, this is also a sign that there might be a problem. This can happen when the communication becomes more and more infrequent, with the level of physical intimacy following suit.
4. When neither partner knows how to resolve the conflict. If you continue to have the same types of arguments and you find yourself fighting about the same topics without resolution, this is also a good sign that you may need some outside help. A third party, such as a therapist or psychologist, can help bring a new perspective. He or she might be able to address the conflict in a new way that a compromise can be reached. Furthermore, a mental health provider can also teach a couple new coping skills to use when they reach a standstill in the future.
5. When one or both partners frequently feel like they need to spend time away from the relationship. When one person in the relationship leaves, it can be hurtful to the other, creating feelings of abandonment, loss, or anger. It’s good to take a break from time to time, but if separating is happening on a regular basis, then it’s a sign that a couple may be having trouble.
The above scenarios are typical of couples who may be struggling. In these situations, it might be useful for a couple to see a mental health provider for support.
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