If You're Ready To Try Couples' Therapy, You Might Notice These 4 Things About Yourself
No matter how picture perfectly a relationship might start, every couple goes through highs and lows. Luckily, no matter what point you're at in your relationship, couples' therapy can be a beneficial way to improve the areas you (or your partner) feel need improving. If you’re ready to try couples' therapy, then you may also notice some internal shifts happen inside yourself. Maybe you're feeling disconnected from your partner or you just want some new communication tools to help with conflict resolution. Either way, there's absolutely nothing wrong with seeking out professional help.
All too often, couples wait until something's really wrong before trying couples' therapy, and by then, getting to the root of the issue can be much more difficult. However, just like with one-on-one therapy, couples' therapy can also be a preventative measure as opposed to a last resort. So, now that we know any relationship can benefit from couples' therapy at pretty much any point (whether you just started dating or you're considering breaking up) — how can you tell if you're ready to seek professional help? Ultimately, only you can make that decision, but if you're not sure, here are some things you might notice about yourself if you're ready to make an appointment.
1. You're considering marriage.
"Given that 49 percent of marriages end in divorce, it makes sense to give yourself the best possible chance to enjoy a successful marriage," prominent relationship therapist Dr. Gary Brown wrote on his website. "Many couples understand this and seek out pre-marital counseling to help build a strong foundation before they tie the knot."
This is a great example of a situation where couples' therapy can be utilized even if things are going well — just as a finishing touch to an already great partnership.
2. You're not satisfied with the intimacy in the relationship.
According to Dr. Brown, if you've noticed you are no longer satisfied with your physical or emotional intimacy, it may be time to seek professional guidance. Don't let any stigma that's associated with not having a seemingly perfect relationship stop you from taking an active role in making improvements.
3. You're thinking about splitting up.
"If the thought has crossed your mind, even if only in passing, it’s in your best interest to seek counseling," Dr. Brown wrote.
Even if you decide to break up with someone after couples' therapy, according to Dr. Brown, that doesn't mean it didn't work. "Therapy is not successful or unsuccessful based on whether or not a couple stays together," Dr. Brown wrote. You can still apply what you learned about yourself to relationships in the future.
4. You feel like your communication could be improved.
"Almost every couple I see has some issue with communication — not enough or too much," Dr. Brown wrote. "Maybe you keep having the same fights over and over because you’re not communicating in a way that your partner understands. Communication can really make or break a relationship and you can never stop improving communication skills."
Navigating relationships at every stage can present challenges, but you don't need to tackle all of them on your own. Even if your partner isn't ready to try couples' therapy, you can still talk to a professional one-on-one about the things going on in your relationship, and take it from there. There's no limit to the amount of useful things you can learn in therapy, both about yourself, and about others, so don't be afraid to take advantage!