Name three specific things you resent about your partner. Now name three specific things you appreciate about them. This shouldn’t be too hard. But now imagine doing this in the presence of your spouse.
Couples counseling is a nuanced and diverse process. However, a big part of it involves blunt, honest communication.
Perception Around Couples Counseling Is Not Always Reality
One of the biggest obstacles connected to couples counseling is the perception we have of it. Thanks to pop culture and other forms of societal conditioning, we may dread therapy without knowing anything true about it.
It’s not uncommon for the average person to imagine marriage counseling to be the furthest thing from romantic. It requires far too much patience and embarrassment.
We may hate to admit it, but for many of us, couples counseling appears to be hard work that we’d rather avoid.
Avoiding it, however, leads to denial, passive aggression and resentment. The perception of marriage counseling must be changed. In reality, choosing to work together to learn lessons no one ever taught us is as romantic a venture that any two partners can undertake.
5 Myths About Couples Therapy
Consider these common myths and whether or not they resonate with you.
1. Couples in Therapy Fight Most Often About Sex and Money
Truth be told, we most often seek help because one or both partners feel they aren’t valued by the other. This requires communication.
2. It Takes Forever
Depending on your situation, the process will vary. That said, couples often see changes after a few sessions. The act of committing together has much intrinsic value.
3. Marriage Therapy Will Eventually Solve Your Problems
The divorce rate regularly hovers around 50 percent and is higher for second marriages. There are no panaceas but there are proven options to help.
4. The Couples Counselor Will Inevitably Choose Sides
No one wants to feel blamed, so this fear is strong. Your counselor is a mediator and guide who will not side with one spouse.
5. Individual Therapy Is More Important
This is a false conflict. Both individual and couples therapy can be crucial depending on your situation.
5 Ways Couples Counseling Helps
Understanding all the ways couples counseling can help often resolves strong feelings of apprehension.
1. We Can Define Our Problems Without Fighting
By the time you seek help, you may already be in a pattern of steady arguing. Your weekly sessions become a safe space to define your concerns without an instant fight.
2. Helps Us Get to the Root of the Problems
Once the problems are defined, it’s essential to examine how and why they came to be. That battle over which route to take to the beach most likely has a deeper, underlying root.
3. Inspires Us to Behave
In front of a trained couples therapist, we learn to not act out and stymie healthy discussion. If either of us does revert back to drama, it leads directly to the next factor (below).
4. Identifies Counterproductive Patterns
Your counselor will guide you to an awareness of how each of you may be sabotaging relationship success. Two partners are usually far too close to the situation (and far too emotional) to decipher patterns. With help, those habits become obvious and preventable.
5. Teaches Us to Recognize When Separation Is the Best Option
Breaking up — even temporarily — is hard to do. A mediator is there to guide this tough conversation. Couples can enter therapy expecting divorce yet end up staying together. In some cases, the opposite might be true.
Is Couples Therapy For You?
There’s only one way to find out. But if we’re being honest with ourselves, we’ll see that everyone needs help. Living together as a couple is one of the hardest things we’ll ever do.
But we’re so rarely prepared for the challenge or strategies needed to take care of and strengthen our relationships. Reaching out together to a skilled professional gets you the relationship help you need and deserve.
Marriage Counseling Columbus, Ohio
If you decide you’re in need of a high quality counseling practice in the Columbus, OH area for couples therapy, please reach out and contact Blue Boat Counseling today. Our skilled couples counselors can help you reconnect in your relationship.