Most couples wait far too long to go to couples therapy. Similar to the number that we see in individual mental health concerns, couples usually wait about 6 years to seek help for relational problems (Gottman, 1994). There’s a lot of stigmas about couples therapy including the following myths:
- If you go to couple’s therapy it means you’re too weak to handle the problems on your own.
- If love or relationships are hard, it isn’t meant to be.
- Being afraid of sharing how you really feel with your partner and worrying it will make things worse.
- You must be desperate or on the brink of separation for things to be “bad enough” to seek therapy.
However, couples therapy is for those who are strong and courageous enough to know that any relationship takes work and our willing to face the different ways they may be contributing to their relational problems (because after all, it really does take two to tango).
Additionally, here are some reasons couples seek therapy (even when they aren’t on the brink of separation):
- When they have difficulties in communicating or talking through problems.
- When they are dissatisfied with levels of intimacy or their sex life.
- When they are navigating severe to mild issues with addiction or workaholism (with themselves or their partner).
- When they are having problems with co-parenting.
- When they want to change unhealthy patterns or re-occurring fights.
- When they are seeking to find meaning and fulfillment in their relationship with their partner.
- When they are navigating big adjustments like moving, changing jobs, joblessness, getting married, having kids, or kids leaving the nest.
- When they have a loss of a child or family trauma.
- When one or both partners struggle with their own mental health or trauma and they’re learning to navigate healing those relational patterns.
All couples have difficulties in their relationship from time-to-time. Most couples inherited some unhealthy habits and ways of coping from their families. Going to couples therapy helps couples to change those patterns and create a healthier and happier partnership. After all, the quality of our relationships (especially our intimate relationships) directly impacts the quality of our lives.
To learn more about couples counseling and therapy or to set-up an appointment in the Wichita area, call 316-201-6047 or visit our contact page.
Source: Gottman, J. M. (1994). What predicts divorce? The relationship between marital processes and marital outcomes. Hillsdale, NK: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates