Usually, couples hesitate to go to therapy. They think going to couples counselling, and therapy is dramatic and taking things too far. And this will do no benefit but put more barriers, growing emotional distance, and worse, their relationship.
As two different people with unique personalities and thought processes get involved, it is very evident that there will be clashes in a relationship. Maintaining a healthy relationship is a long journey that requires effort, understanding and effective communication now and then. However, not understanding this point of view and piling up conflicts may make the partner seek intimacy outside the relationship. By the time they decide to go to couple therapy, they would have already reached the breaking point, and the underlying causes would be ignored. Hence, it is important to notice the warning signs and reach out to relationship therapists as early as possible.
If you and your partner are sensing a disconnection and are contemplating whether to consider therapy, here are the top 10 signs you should consider and go to couple therapy.
Top 10 Signs to Seek Couple Therapy
It is important to know when to go to couples therapy to maintain a healthy relationship. Identifying the signs early on can help you take proactive measures to improve your relationship and foster long-lasting happiness together.
1. Negative Interaction
It is a good time to go for couple counselling if there is frequent negative interaction between you and your partner. Such interactions can leave you or/and your partner feeling hopeless, confused, and frustrated and withdraw from the relationship, which is not healthy.
2. Emotional Distance and Loneliness
It is almost common for any couple to lose the ‘spark’ they had in early relationships. But this should not be interpreted as emotional distance. It is completely different.
You could feel “alone” in making your life decisions when you wanted your partner to get involved and give their input. Or if one of you is the only one putting effort to make the fun alive in your relationship, it is a significant sign for you to go to couples therapy.
3. No Physical Intimacy
Physical intimacy is something that holds a relationship. If you find yourselves from having frequent sex to almost none, barely being satisfied, or constantly being rejected, this is a cause for concern. A lack of intimacy is a warning sign that something is wrong.
4. Arguments on Small Matters
Believe it or not, arguing is better than completely shutting down and ignoring. But only to some extent. It is concerning if you are constantly stuck with the same problem, and arguing over a small matter is part of your everyday routine.
5. Managing the Transition From Couplehood to Parenthood
New parents often find themselves overwhelmed and insecure about their parenting decisions. Household chores and childcare tasks usually decrease communication and overall marital satisfaction. Seeking marriage counselling or couple therapy can help you communicate better and manage your relationship as a couple and parent.
6. Considering a Divorce or Break up
Nothing is worse than accepting that you and your partner have grown apart and are unsure if you share the same vision about the future. Therapists can help you realize the cause and may help in your decision-making, either to rebuild this relationship or move on from this connection.
7. Untreated Anxiety and Mental Health Issues
When untreated anxiety or other mental health issues come into play, it can significantly impact a relationship. Some may exhibit behaviours of overthinking or constantly needing reassurance, while others may become overly independent and emotionally detached from their partners. Seeking professional help can provide the necessary support to manage and process these challenges, fostering healthier dynamics in the relationship.
8. Unequal Decision Making
Unequal decision-making can create a huge conflict in shared life than you know. Acknowledging your partner’s input and decisions is important or will only increase resentment towards you.
From another perspective, you’re also suffering. You could feel the burden of too many responsibilities and being the only one who makes decisions. Wherever you stand, counselling should help.
9. Cultural or Value Differences
Cultural or value differences in a relationship can create conflicts due to varying beliefs, customs, and traditions. Couple therapy provides a safe space for partners to explore and appreciate each other’s backgrounds, beliefs, and values. Additionally, it helps you identify potential conflicts and learn to embrace their unique identities while building a harmonious partnership.
10. Something Is Wrong, But You Don’t Know What and Why It Is
The dynamic has changed, and you feel the relationship could be better. It’s a feeling that you can’t really describe it. You know something is wrong, and there’s a silent treatment, and the communications are dry. Identifying these emotions, knowing the cause, and working together on it is beneficial.
Does Couples Therapy Always Work?
According to the Verywell Mind’s Relationship & Therapy survey done in January 2023, 99% of respondents who are in couples therapy say it has had a positive impact on their relationship, and three out of four (76%) say it has a high or very high impact.
Indeed, couple therapy can be very effective. Your relationship doesn’t have to hit rock bottom for you to visit a relationship counsellor. It’s like an investment for both you and your partner to look for ways to strengthen your connection.
Improving the quality of your romantic relationship can be a challenging task. However, with the help of couples counselling, it can become much more manageable.
Our experienced counsellors are here to guide you and your partner through any obstacles you may be facing so that you can develop a deeper understanding and connection with one another. Contact us today to get started on your journey to a more fulfilling relationship.
Is it normal to go to couples therapy early in a relationship?
Yes, it is completely normal. Therapy might be worth trying, even at the beginning to discuss foundational aspects of the relationship. In fact, most people seek counselling once or twice yearly, even though they have a healthy relationship.
How often should you go to couples therapy?
It is good to visit weekly or at least every second week during the early stages of couple’s therapy so that you can work on your relationship immediately. A gap between sessions can make you feel you are starting over each time and take a lot of your time and money. However, after achieving some stability, your session may be less frequent.
Should you go to couples therapy before marriage?
Yes, going to therapy before marriage is a good choice. It can give your relationship a solid foundation and help you to grow individually and together as a couple. Another benefit of going to premarital counselling is that it enables you to realize your and your partner’s values, ensure that you and your partner’s values align, and become familiar with each others’ expectations.
Is couple therapy a bad sign?
Absolutely not. It is a great way to make a relationship even better. It means you both care enough to discuss issues and grow your bond.
Carson Kivari is the Founder and Clinic Director of Thrive Downtown, with years of experience helping individuals and couples overcome anxiety, depression, and burnout. He guides clients on a journey of self-exploration and trauma release to find purpose, connection, and safety. Take the first step towards healing and contact Carson today to schedule a session.