Being in a committed relationship is one of the most significant events of life. The decision to commit to someone, via marriage or otherwise, at a physical, social, emotional, financial, spiritual level requires a lot of courage and understanding. The quality of one’s relationship can directly affect ones well being.
Just as we invest in our health and professional skills, relationships demand an emotional investment. Constant ups and downs, due to internal or external factors such as personal differences, conflicts of interest, barriers in communication can all cause distress in one’s married life. Couples therapy equips and prepares both partners to be the best versions of themselves both individually and together, along with having the ability to deal with the worst.
Therapy is an unbiased, objective, thoroughly researched, structured and non judgemental approach to disentangle the conflicts in the relationship.
Rather than suffering with your partner and making issues more complicated with the blame game, denial, escapist, negative coping methods, it is better to approach a counselor who can help reduce the burden and guide the two of you in a way that best suits your interpersonal dynamics.
In couples therapy, the couple are spoken to together – not just the person identified as having the “problem”. The therapy also focuses on enhancing adjustment between the couple and other members of the family unit (if required).
Overcome the hesitation to seek counselling by asking yourself these questions:
- Am I happy?
- Is it helping me by waiting for the other person to change or understand?
- Is finding fault with the other person really helping me?
- Is there something else I can try to improve my relationship?
It is possible that you may want to seek couples counseling but your partner may resist it. Here are some things to keep in mind at this point of time:
- Do not rush the process
- Sit and discuss the differences. Explain to them why you think therapy may be benefitial.
- Time and energy is critical – do not waste it by repeatedly going down the same path
- Remind yourself that these are problems that the two of you need to sort out together – it is not you vs your partner
- Avoid argumentative communication. Take a pause. Give yourself and your partner time to reflect upon what is happening.
- Do not enforce your thinking on your partner
- Propose the idea of taking professional help. Highlight that ‘there is nothing to lose’ by seeking expert advice