You don’t go through life alone, so it only makes sense that you wouldn’t limit yourself to going to therapy alone—especially if one of your most immediate concerns is your romantic relationship. For many couples, seeking therapy together is a helpful step in repairing their relationships and addressing problems that have likely lived below the surface in silence for some time. Unfortunately, couples therapy does have a negative reputation, and many couples feel like they need to hide the fact they’re in counselling or they avoid even going in the first place. However, like individual therapy, couples therapy can have real benefits and it may be the most constructive way to get your relationship back on track, or even build a stronger relationship before big problems and challenges arise.
Identifying problems in your relationship
There is no one single sign that your relationship could be struggling. Likely, it will be a combination of factors, such as more frequent petty arguing or feeling like you’re having the same disagreement over and over. You may even just feel like something is off or that the magic isn’t there anymore, but you may also still have a strong connection to your partner that’s worth hanging on for.
It’s also worth knowing that couples therapy is not an automatic red flag for your relationships. It might be a helpful step before making major life choices like getting engaged or having children, or it may simply be a helpful addition to your personal therapy for issues that you’ve worked on independently that may now be making their way into your relationship.
Talking to your partner about couples therapy
A good rule of thumb for approaching couples therapy is to never bring it up in the midst of an argument. If you think that therapy would be a good step, talk to your partner during a calm and peaceful period so that you can have an open and honest discussion about it. Additionally, don’t avoid suggesting therapy because you assume your partner will not be on board. Even if your partner is hesitant, you should express your needs and encourage your partner to try just one session while keeping an open mind.
Avoiding common therapy pitfalls
Couples therapy can be very effective, because it helps people learn new ways of communicating and expressing themselves while respecting the needs of their partners. However, therapy is not a fix-all, and it does take work. Don’t expect every problem to be solved in your sessions. Use strategies that your therapist teaches you to continue the work at home. You also do not want therapy to serve as a crutch that gives you just enough introspection and emotional support to feel better without actually making changes in your relationship.
If you’re considering couples therapy, it can be easier to get started in a comfortable and familiar environment. MeMD allows you to access a Licensed Marriage Counselor and other qualified mental health specialists right from the comfort and privacy of home without a long-term commitment.