5 reasons to go to couples therapy
When most people think about couples therapy, they think of couples on the brink of divorce or fighting against enormous problems in their love life. While it's true that couples therapy can be useful for partners considering breaking up, this stigma often leads to people waiting too long to seek help. In reality, therapy can benefit all couples and seeking help before problems escalate can lead to happier, healthier, and more fulfilling relationships.
Here are 5 reasons to go to couples therapy.
1. You are looking to deepen your connection to each other.
Couples therapy gives you and your partner the opportunity to explore each other in ways you may not have done so. PACT therapists are trained to notice, point out, and make connections between tiny micro-expressions that partners may miss. Therapy could also help partners draw connections between their partner's behaviors and past experiences that is useful for understanding their particular nuances.
2. You feel more like roommates than lovers.
Regardless of how long a couple has been together, the mundanities of every day life can sometimes leave us feeling more like roommates or friends and less like lovers. Often times, couples in this position rarely fight or disagree-- in fact, they move through the world like a well-oiled machine. However, this can sometimes lead to feelings of disconnection and it's almost a give-in that sex lives falter or come to a stop. Therapy can help you rediscover the passion and sexual energy that makes your relationship unique and exciting.
3. You have the same fights over and over again.
When we choose to spend our life with someone, it is inevitable that we will have disagreements. In fact, research conducted by Dr. Gottman has shown that 69% of relationship conflict is perpetual! While that may seem like a lot, it is less important to solve these problems and more important to be able to establish dialogue and understanding about them. Therapy can help couples be curious and empathetic around perpetual problems, thus reducing the intensity and frequency of repetitive fights.
4. You are considering taking "the next step."
Whether you are considering getting married, moving in together, having a child, or meeting each other's family, life transitions are a wonderful time to seek therapy. Therapists provide safe, nurturing, and non-judgmental spaces to explore each person's dreams, expectations, and fears of the next step. These moments can strengthen relationships as they transition into new territory.
5. You experienced a breach in trust.
Maybe there was physical or emotional infidelity or perhaps there was deception around finances. Whatever the source of the broken trust, a relationship lacking in trust will continue to deteriorate in small and large ways. In any case, therapy provides a forum for both partners to be vulnerable and rebuild the foundation of trust.
Couples therapy is an opportunity to engage with your partner free from distractions and judgments. It can help prevent problems from driving a wedge between couples and can repair old patterns or hurt that has caused distress. If you have any questions about therapy or would like to schedule a session, feel free to reach out!
Charlotte McKernan is a couple and individual therapist in Fort Collins, CO.