By Elise Fuller, LPC-Intern
Supervised by Marci Stiles
The truth is that if you are wondering if your relationship or marriage is in trouble, it probably is! Here are some warning signs that it may be time for you and/or your partner to seek couples counseling.
1) Having the Same Argument Over and Over:
Arguing about the same topic over and over is a clear sign that you are not communicating well enough to solve your problems. Counseling can help you communicate with your partner in a way that is easier for your partner to hear you or incorporate your feelings into their own view. And when an issue just can’t be solved, because not all disagreements between couples are solvable, counseling can help each partner still feel respected and cherished as they continue to dialogue about the topic for years to come. Counseling can also help increase the marital friendship, which works like an airbag (or savings account) when times get rocky.
2) Feels Like You are Both Living Separate Lives:
Many couples who go on living this way have solid beliefs about marriage or commitment but just lack savvy skills in communication. They stay together physically as an effort to not give up, or not walk away from the relationship, while both of them feel emotionally separate and trapped. Sometimes, partners just grow in different directions and lose their way back. Again, counseling can help you increase your marital friendship. It can show you how to look within your relationship for relief and how to turn towards each other rather than away!
3) Emotional or Physical Affair:
If getting love, attention and affection from someone new suddenly seems like a reasonable solution to your relationship issues, it is a red flag! Some people have a zero tolerance policy for cheating. Others are willing to work on the relationship after finding out about the infidelity, but the relationship is rarely the same and it can remain on shaky ground for a long time. Counseling can help reveal what’s hidden in the safest way possible and help you both figure out what comes next for your relationship.
4) Major Changes in Your Sex Life:
The breakdown of sexual intimacy is one of the most frequently reported signs of a struggling relationship. Sexual intimacy helps create the bond between partners. If you are not connecting with your partner sexually, the next step is usually an emotional or physical affair. First, rule out any medical conditions that may exacerbate the problem. But, if you feel the problem is a sign of a troubled relationship, let a counselor help you both come clean about what it going on and then take steps to light the fire once again.
5) Traumatic Event Occurred:
Relationships are hard work already, but traumatic life events such as the loss of a child or a serious illness have the potential to truly test a partnership. Marriage counseling can assist couples in managing the added stress and navigate difficult and unfamiliar emotions.
Seeking professional couples counseling for your relationship can be a difficult decision. It is not uncommon for at least one, or both, partners to doubt if counseling is the right approach. But, by the time couples are considering counseling the relationship is usually showing significant signs of stress and instability and really needs a change. Thankfully, expert relationship counselors have shown that it is not necessary for both partners to attend counseling, especially in the beginning. After one partner has committed to improving themselves and the relationship, their spouse will begin to notice significant and promising changes. Those changes are usually enough to make the doubtful partner believe in the power of counseling!
For more information about Positive Outlook Counseling or to schedule an appointment with Elise, visit www.positiveoutlookcounseling.com.
Positive Outlook Counseling
Marci B. Stiles, MA, LPC-S, NBCC
16610 North Dallas Parkway, Ste 2100
Dallas TX, 75248
Positive Outlook Counseling services range from individual counseling to family therapy to marriage counseling services. Marci Stiles specializes in individual, family, marriage and troubled teen therapy.
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