For many individuals, the decision to go to couples’ therapy may signal defeat. But in reality, the earlier you decide to go, the better the odds are that your relationship can make it. According to John Gottmans’s research the average length of time a couple waits from the time they NEED therapy to the time they come in is 7 years. 7 years of needing help and putting it off. In fact, you don’t have to wait for a major blowout to seek relationship counseling. Here are some key indicators it might be a good idea to schedule an appointment.
5 Signs It’s Time to Consider Couples’ Therapy
1. You Bicker Often
Most couples argue, but when bickering becomes near-constant, it’s time to step back and examine what could be going on. Whether it’s bickering over smaller issues or having all-out arguments about larger problems, frequent disagreements can wear away at a relationship over time. Therapy is helpful for pinpointing the root cause and finding healthy ways to work through it.
2. You’re Not on the Same Page
Sometimes, one person in a relationship may feel as if they need more from the other — whether that’s more emotional support, help around the house, or patience and encouragement. It’s also possible for couples to be divided on certain issues, like trouble with in-laws. If you’re struggling to find common ground, talking it out with an unbiased counselor can help.
3. Your Partner Suggested It
Typically, one partner will see a need for therapy sooner than the other does. If your loved one has the courage to suggest this option to you, try to be open to it. Remember, this means that they’re willing to put in the work, which can be challenging at times, to move forward with you to get the relationship healthy. It’s easy to become defensive and blamed, but in almost all cases, relationship therapy requires work from both individuals.
4. You’re Working Through a Major Change
Exterior pressures can put a significant strain on relationships. From job transitions to moving into a new house, there are plenty of life changes which can cause stress. If that tension is injected into the relationship, it can drive a wedge between two loving partners. With counseling, you can establish coping methods for confronting changes together as a team.
5. You’d Like to Have a Healthier Relationship
Relationships don’t always need to have an obvious, identifiable problem to benefit from counseling. In some cases, the only thing you know is that one or both of you are unhappy. Perhaps you’re seeking ways to communicate on a certain sensitive topic, or you’re looking for strategies to solve disagreements without resorting to ugly arguments. Therapy can improve even healthy relationships.