When is the Best Time to Choose Couples Counseling?
In every relationship, you will come up upon rough patches where you fight, don’t communicate well, or even withdraw from one another. While these periods of time are normal and usually pass after an open conversation about your individual feelings, sometimes they can last.
When you and your partner are not connecting like you used to, it might be time to consider going to couples counseling. This can be a big choice, but it is one that will ultimately clarify you and your partner’s thoughts and outlooks, as well as helping you both to move forward together. When both parties are engaged in achieving positive change, one can find that couples counseling can work miracles in relationships.
Making the Decision
Unfortunately, there is often a negative stigma attached to any type of counseling or therapy, which causes many people who need it to go without it. When making the decision to choose couples counseling, you must actively leave behind any negative thoughts, perceptions, or judgment you
may receive from family and friends.
The truth is that couples counseling is a brave step towards reconciliation and preservation that shows you care about your relationship, and any negativity attached to it should be ignored. Of course, you and your partner should be in agreement about exploring couples counseling. If one of you is dragged into it, you may not be able to expect any positive change.
How to Know You Need Couples Counseling
Many people think that couples counseling is for people who are constantly fighting, but this is far from true. While those who are having trouble communicating definitely should consider therapy, couples who get along well should consider it also. You may want to considered couples counseling if you would like to do the following:
- Communicate Better: helping the relationship along by discovering constructive tools to help stimulate productive conversation
- Connect on a Deeper Level: surpassing surface and physical attractions and moving into more internal intimacy
- Get Closer as a Couple: finding shared activities to do together
- Get Tools on How to Handle Problems Before They Arise: using expressions to help communicate in a healthy manner
- Touch Base With Where You Both Are Emotionally: finding ways to express yourself and your desires in order to construct a better relationship while avoiding dramatic argumentation
Finding a Counselor
Once you’ve decided to go to couples counseling, you may feel lost when looking for a counselor that’s right for both you and your partner. However, it’s easier than expected. You can get in touch with a couples therapist through a doctor, looking online, or through a referral from a friend or family member.
You should also be aware that, unfortunately, many therapeutic relationships fail because the therapist and patient(s) are just not a right fit. With this in mind, don’t hesitate to change therapists if the one you have isn’t working. Do your best to talk to your partner about how they feel about your counselor as well; maybe they don’t mesh with the advisor either.
When everything comes together, you’ll have a better time in counseling overall. For extra help on how to find a couples counselor, click here.
The Best Time to Choose Couples Counseling
Believe it or not, the best time to choose couples counseling is before marriage. For couples who are engaged, or in agreement to get married soon, couples counseling should be the next step. Though it may sound scary, engaging in counseling before you tie the knot may help you both discover whether or not marriage is the right next step for your relationship.
For some, this leads to postponing an engagement or wedding, while for others it may lead to a breakup. The difference, however, is that counseling helps couples tackle the big issues and discover any “deal breaking differences” they may have before they step into such a huge commitment. A good counselor should bring up the following:
- How You Handle Money
- How You Feel About Having Children
- Where You Stand on Divorce
- Whether or Not You’re Willing to Move Away from Family/Friends/Home
- Career Choices
Though some of these may sound trivial, they can actually destroy a relationship for couples who don’t communicate within these areas and who aren’t prepared for the changes they can bring. Disagreements on these major topics can chip away at the integrity of a relationship, so it’s important to tackle these subjects preemptively. Of course, with some issues there is no way of telling how you’ll react or how your mind will change, but having open and honest conversations about them can steer you in the right direction.
The Bottom Line
Though relationships are wonderful, they will not be roses and happiness all the time. Eventually, hard topics and situations come up, and you have to be prepared for them. Though counseling may not save every marriage and relationship, it never hurts to try. If you feel you and your partner need couples counseling, don’t be afraid to try it out.