“What’s the bravest thing you’ve ever said?” asked Piglet. “Help” said Pooh”
How do you know when you should get relationship counselling (also known as couples therapy)?
Whether you want to solve major problems in your relationship or want to strengthen and keep your relationship on track, there are certainly some early warning signs to look out for as a couple.
I’ve written a list of common signs for you that I see all the time as a relationship counsellor.
Now, it doesn’t matter if you recognise just one of these signs or quite a few in your relationship. Because when you experience any change in your relationship – such as intimacy, communication, or you just don’t like your partner – it can feel extremely lonely.
But you don’t have to go it alone.
Changes in your Relationship
Changes in a marriage or partnership can be tumultuous and overt such as a partner having an affair. However, at other times, problems can seem insipid and indirect where issues creep up on couples in long-term, comfortable relationships.
They may begin to take each other for granted and ignore one another when they are spending time together. This may become their new norm and totally out of one’s awareness. But if we become aware of these early signs we can do something about it before it gets to be a major problem.
New Trend in Couples Seeking Relationship Counselling
The mainstream narrative of couples therapy is seen as the last attempt to fix a failing relationship or marriage.
It usually takes a married couple about six years to seek professional help and by that stage, their once small problem has turned into a larger more significant one.
There is a new shift that Relationship Therapists are finding. Couples who are in healthy and stable relationships are coming in for relationship counselling.
These couples are using relationship counselling more as a “maintenance rather than crisis” approach. They find it a great way to strengthen their relationship and create a safe space for them and their partners to be more vulnerable with each other. These couples find useful tools to rebuild or keep their relationship on track. Their goal is to change the patterns of relating so that when issues do arise, these couples can be better equipped to deal with them.
10 Signs You Need Relationship Counselling
1. Is There No Intimacy in Your Relationship?
It is not uncommon for your sex life to dwindle after being in a relationship for a length of time and dry spells do happen! However, there is a concern if the chronic lack of sex is evident or if sex becomes robotic and cold. A relationship therapist may be able to offer some ideas for rekindling the passion.
2. Are you Communicating Effectively With Each Other?
Fear can be built amongst specific topics of discussion, leading couples to avoid conversations altogether. So many people know how to talk until it comes to discussing what they like or don’t like. Therapists can offer new ways to communicate with each other and they can clear up misunderstandings and steer a conversation healthily.
3. Do You Get Stuck On The Same Issues?
Arguments between couples come and go, but if you find something that comes up in conversation that you just don’t know how to get past, then you will need help addressing the underlying issue. Having unresolved issues leads to withdrawal and couples counseling professionals find often that if their clients do not resolve past hurts and previous arguments, every future conversation will be tainted with negative feelings. A therapist will help you navigate these issues so that you can successfully resolve the conflict.
4. Is there Financial Infidelity?
Finances and issues with managing money within a household are often reasons why couples and marriages break up. When there is no consensus about funds, it will not be long before arguments ensue. Being financially unfaithful such as purchases, credit card statements, and hidden receipts can lead to breaching the trust in the relationship and can be just as devastating as a sexual affair. If this sounds familiar, seek help from a professional to address arguments about money immediately.
5. Are you Quietly Quitting?
Quietly quitting is a term often used in the workforce when someone is staying in the job and doing the bare minimum for the convenience of a paycheck. This happens in a relationship when a couple starts feeling more like roommates than a couple. He goes out with his beer buddies, and she has her Merlot friends and most social time is spent outside the house and away from each other. No doubt, schedules are hectic and there may be phases of disconnect, but it should not be long-term without communication or intimacy. If you recognize that you are spending long periods of time apart and are not particularly interested in each other’s activities or life, it is time to see go to relationship counselling.
6. Have You Contemplated An Affair?
If you are thinking about having an affair it is evident that you are seeking something your partner is not providing. It could be physical or emotional desire. If your current relationship is not serving your needs, it is imperative to seek therapy before making a misguided mistake.
7. Do you think "If Only They Would Change?"
We cannot change other people, however, we can change ourselves and other people will change vicariously. If you are waiting for your partner to change, you will be waiting for a long time. Therapy can help you work through those challenges and figure out your own identity, wants, and desires.
8. Is there a Lack of Trust?
Trust is hard to earn and easy to lose. Never put trust issues on the back burner because IT will show up down the road. You may begin to feel like your partner is the enemy and on a different side. A couple should be on the same team and be able to offer each other emotional support instead of seeking it from family and friends. Recognize if your support system is coming from outside the marriage or from your partner. If it is from the former, it is time to seek professional help.
9. Is there Is An Ideological Difference?
At the beginning of your relationship, you may have been on the same page with many issues. However, people grow and so do opinions and sometimes opinions can change. If you find yourself arguing because your ideologies differ drastically, it is time to seek help.
10. Are you Feeling Alone?
Relationships deteriorate when communication breaks down. When you start feeling close in proximity but far away from each other it can feel lonelier than if you were physically alone. If you and your partner are noticing a decline in the quality of your conversations or the frequency of your interactions, it is important to make an appointment with a therapist.
Nothing Changes until Something Changes
Is it time to stop waiting for something to change? Are you ready to get up and make the necessary changes that will nurture your relationship?
You could have a beautiful relationship again.
I hope you contact me.
I am a relationship counsellor in Sydney. However, if you’re looking for a Relationship Counsellor in Brisbane or perhaps a relationship counsellor in Melbourne (or any other part of Australia, for that matter!) I am happy to consider counselling via the internet.
Reach out. Message me. I’m sure you’ll be glad you did.