There is no “good time” to start couples counselling. Counselling can be a difficult topic for family members to talk about, yet the benefits of starting couples counselling are well known and documented by many studies.
Couples counselling is meant as an opportunity for partners to work through their issues in a safe space without outside judgment from family and friends. In addition, the therapeutic process of couples counselling has been proven to be very successful for a wide variety of issues such as communication problems, family planning, infidelity, sexual dysfunction and relational conflicts amongst others.
Signs in a relationship that it may be time for couples counselling.
What are some signs in a relationship that it may be time for couples counselling? Before considering couples counselling, here’s what you should look out for:
- You feel like you always fight and never agree on anything. This includes feeling like you aren’t heard or understood when trying to explain something important to your partner.
- You feel like it’s a waste of time to try and talk things out because your partner never listens, is defensive or simply doesn’t care.
- Your partner gets very upset when something is upsetting you – but isn’t helpful in trying to solve the problem. In this case, they may be using anger as away to control or manipulate you.
- Your partner spends a lot of time checking on social media and rarely makes an effort to talk with you. When they do spend time with you, it feels more like an obligation than something done out of love and care.
What reasons do people seek counselling?
Some common reasons that couples choose couples counselling are:
- Arguing all the time or fighting. This can get out of hand when one partner starts to use hurtful words, name-calling, swearing and threatening their partner.
- Feeling like they are walking on eggshells around their partner. They don’t know what will set them off, so they go out of their way to avoid doing something that may upset them.
- Being in a relationship where each partner just does their own thing and doesn’t check in with the other person.
- Feeling unappreciated because one partner puts all of their efforts into their friends, family members or work at the expense of the relationship. One partner feels like the other isn’t pulling their weight in the relationship.
- Feeling alone or like they don’t matter because their partner is only interested in talking to others instead of them.
- One person feels that they are constantly giving while the other one isn’t, causing resentment and unhappiness within the relationship.
- Relationship problems can cause feelings of depression, anxiety and stress. If the issues are left untreated, they can become worse over time making it harder for couples to resolve their problems on their own.
- If you feel like any of these reasons could be happening in your relationship, then it’s time to have an open conversation with your partner about therapy or counselling. This opens the conversation to be able to work through the issues in an environment where they can feel relaxed, heard and understood.
- You should also consider couples counselling if you have noticed any of these changes in your partner’s behaviour:
- They are spending more time on their own or with others. This includes taking separate holidays without inviting you, staying out later, spending a lot of time watching TV or on social media.
- They are not interested in having sex anymore, making excuses to avoid it – e.g., they’re tired, have a headache, too stressed from work.
- They may also want more sex than you do which is causing an issue within the relationship.· They may be spending less time with friends and family, preferring to just stay home and do their own thing.
- Being more secretive about phone calls or messages that they receive. This includes avoiding the topic when you bring it up or making excuses for why they can’t share who they’re talking to – e.g., it’s private, it’s none of your business.
- They don’t let you in about what’s going on in their life or open up to you anymore. If they are upset, they are either trying to deal with it on their own or getting angry when you ask them how they’re feeling.
- They seem distant and not interested in spending time with you anymore. This could also be because they’ve lost interest and are no longer attracted to you.
- They may stop making an effort when it comes to things like putting the bins out, household chores, cooking dinner etc.
Relationship counselling is not always about having major discussions or working through big problems. Even if the problems are small, constant arguing can cause daily stress. If you always feel misunderstood or unhappy in your relationship, this is also a good time to seek counselling.
Blessing Iyamadiken loves the art of storytelling and enjoys creating all types of content from news to entertainment. She is also a feminist and very passionate about Gender Equality. In her spare time, she loves to read or binge on Netflix.