If you are considering couples therapy, it is probably safe to say that your relationship needs some attention. There is nothing wrong with seeking external help for your relationship. Relationships are difficult and, at times, require a lot of work. If you are a part of a couple that enters therapy, you should not consider yourself a failure because seeking help means you are willing to make the effort to get better.
Relationships involve a lot of factors to stay healthy. Maybe something has happened recently that changed the course of your relationship. Maybe it has been sliding slowly downhill for a while. Or perhaps small things have piled up to become big issues. Whatever the reason may be, your relationship is still fixable. Every relationship is, but the success of the healing process depends on how much work both parties put into it.
If you are questioning whether couples therapy is right for you, there are some factors to consider regarding your relationship. With any form of therapy, a lot of introspection is needed and couples therapy is no different. There are some things you may want to think about to determine whether couples therapy is right for you.
When considering if you need couples therapy, look to the people who raised you. Was their relationship healthy? Did you learn effective communication skills? The reason you should ask these questions is because you may not have the appropriate skills needed to conduct a healthy relationship. If you grew up in a co-dependent household, odds have you internalized those co-dependent behaviors and brought them to your current relationship.
If this is the case and you did not have the best relationship role models, couples therapy would probably help. A professional can guide you to equip your toolbox with healthy relationship skills. That way serious change can be brought to the relationship.
Are you and your partner constantly fighting? Whether it is big issues or small offenses, does there always seem to be conflict? Has separating been brought up? In many cases like this, couples therapy can help.
Through couples therapy, you can learn the skills to better communicate with your partner. A majority of issues in relationships have to do with disrespected boundaries and ineffectual communication. Usually, problems arise when boundaries are overstepped, feelings get hurt, and trust is broken. Without proper communication, those feelings are not conveyed effectively and this causes fights to break out.
What a couples therapist does is help you and your partner rebuild trust and give you the necessary tools to communicate more effectively with one another. This can prevent fights and ease the tension in the relationship. This may be easier said than done—fixing a relationship takes a lot of work. It can be done though. Provided that both parties are willing to put in the work, the two of you can learn to forgive one another's past mistakes, rebuild trust, and move forward more peacefully.
When it comes to couples therapy, both parties must be willing to make the effort to better the relationship. You may go into couples therapy expecting the professional to take your side in a fight. This is not the purpose of the therapist. Couples therapy is about both people in the relationship making changes for the betterment of the relationship.
This also means that if you want to go to therapy and your partner does not, there is little you can do. If your partner does not want to make a change, they will not, or, at the very least, the changes they make will not be genuine. This can be hard to face.
As mentioned earlier, every relationship is salvageable but salvaging it takes work. That work can be too much in some cases, and that is just something you have to respect and, perhaps, part ways over. That does not make it any easier, but it is the reality of the situation.
You may want to villanize your partner for not wanting to improve and see yourself as the victim. At the end of the day, this will only create more animosity between you two. That does not necessarily mean that the relationship is doomed, but it does mean that couples therapy is likely not going to help. You cannot force someone to do something they do not want to do. You can try communicating your desire to seek help to your partner, but it is ultimately up to them.
The ups and downs of relationships can be difficult. Although, with the combination of effective communication and guidance from a therapist, much can be achieved. Rebuilding relationships takes work, which not everyone may be suited for, and that is okay. In any case, taking the time to be introspective can benefit you. At the end of the day, things may change, and it is your ability to adapt to those changes and not be stopped by them that will empower you.
Relationships can be difficult to navigate at times. There are high points and low points. The lows can feel devastating; they can ruin your whole day or week if you let them. Though you may strive to have the best relationship possible with your partner, it is not always easy. Sometimes you need help to get through the difficult parts. NorthStar Transitions, located in Boulder, CO, can be the place to find that help. Our experienced staff can help you and your partner navigate through difficult periods in your relationship. There is nothing wrong with asking for help, especially when it is for the sake of your relationship. Couples therapy can help you and your partner work together to make your relationship a place of joy and support. You can take the first steps by calling us today at (303) 558-6400.