Working toward couples, marriage counseling success
How early should you start couples counseling?
Are you working toward couples marriage counseling success? People sometimes wonder whether they could’ve saved their relationship through marriage counseling or couples therapy. If they had done something sooner, would it have made a difference?
Let’s compare a couple’s relationship with maintaining your car. By the way, there’s no intention to objectify your spouse or partner with this comparison. The purpose is to compare how much time and attention people spend on their vehicles to keep them in good working order. For example, you inspect your tires, add air, and get them turned or aligned. You routinely check fluids—brake fluid, water and oil. And every several thousand miles, you change oil and filters. You also recognize the warning signs if something that needs to be fixed. You know what to watch out for and what to repair right away. Why all the maintenance? Maintenance is important because it can avert a major breakdown. It can help you avoid disaster, such as a tire blowout, an engine seizure or a car crash.
Just the way vehicles need maintenance, so do relationships. Obviously, they require a different kind of maintenance. Thoughtful communication, attention and tender care can do a lot to repair a relationship.
Unfortunately, many of us don’t consistently devote the time and care that relationships need. In fact, this is evident in the 50% divorce rate that exists in the U.S. Perhaps, all too often, we take relationships for granted. If so, we might not see the warning signs that our relationship is falling apart. By the time we consider taking action, it might be too late to salvage it.
Tackling problems early on is best. When you deal with problems before they mount up, chances are you can restore the loving relationship you started out with.
Warning signs that a relationship is in trouble
The following are some indications that your relationship is faltering:
- Fault-finding? Do you find yourself continuously aware of your partner’s faults? Do you often voice criticisms? Is your partner often critical of you?
- Aggressive? Are your interactions with each other riddled with sarcastic remarks, arguments, knitted eyebrows and grimaces?
- Feeling defensive? Do you or your partner take what the other says the wrong way, even when trying to turn over a new leaf or revitalize your relationship?
- Drifting apart? Are you spending less and less time with each other, finding other interests and people to hang out with?
- Envisioning a different life? Do wonder what life would be like with a different partner? Do you spend time daydreaming about being with someone else that you know?
If the above sounds familiar and is prevalent in your life, couples counseling can help. To get involved in couples therapy, you don’t have to wait until your relationship is falling apart. In fact, most couples are wise to seek counseling before their relationship reaches the stages described above.
What can trigger the above types of behavior?
Life changing experiences are often the beginning of downturns in a couple’s life together. Examples of triggers may include: childbirth, caring for elderly parents, relocation, career changes, death of a loved one or serious health issues. Drug or alcohol abuse is also another trigger.
How can you plan for couples marriage counseling success?
The best way to avert disaster is to get help early on. Counseling can help you manage stress and communicate more effectively. Devote the time and attention to your relationship that it deserves. Learn how to nurture trust, intimacy, and gratitude. When you do, then you can also watch your lives improve.
Find out more about marriage counseling
If you have questions, we’re glad to answer them. Take the first step by reaching out to us.