Every marriage goes through some rough patches, and unfortunately, trying to figure it out on your own can often lead to crucial things being left unsaid and strong relationships ending up on the rocks.
Often, by the time a couple decides to seek expert help and advice, it is almost too late. If you see any of these seven signs, it may be signal you and your partner could benefit from marriage counselling.
1. You struggle to communicate
When the line of communication between spouses breaks down, it can be very difficult to repair. Breakdowns in communication can make one or both partners feel invalidated, unheard, or disrespected. Over time, this can cause a couple to avoid communicating with one another.
Through counselling, you and your partner can identify your individual communication styles and see where you’re misunderstanding one another, and a therapist can help facilitate new ways to communicate more effectively with each other. Deterioration in communication between a couple is the first sign of trouble. It’s not an understatement; communication in marriage is everything.
2. If you do talk, you end up fighting
Arguing occasionally is healthy for a relationship, but when it’s gotten to the point that neither of you are able to agree on even the smallest detail, this is a sign of a bigger problem. Marriage counselling can help you figure out the different reasons why there’s so much strife between you and your partner.
3. You start keeping secrets
Each person in a relationship has a right to privacy, but when you start keeping secrets from each other, something isn’t right. If you feel you cannot trust your spouse enough to tell them something, or you suspect they’re keeping secrets from you, it’s time to seek help before things get out of hand. Counselling can help you figure out why you feel like you can’t be honest in your relationship.
4. You’re contemplating (or having) an affair
Thinking about having an affair (or actually having one) is a signal that you desire something different from what you currently have. While it is possible for a marriage to survive, even after an affair, it is best to opt for counselling while you are still fantasising about it. If you both commit to the therapy process and speak with honesty, rescuing the marriage is possible.
5. You’re financially unfaithful
Financial infidelity is often just as damaging, if not more so, to a relationship than a sexual affair. If one partner keeps his or her spouse in the dark about spending habits, or needs to control everything related to money, this is a signal of a much deeper problem. It’s essential to seek help if you find yourself with financial dishonesty in your marriage.
6. More like room mates than a couple
Do you feel that you just share a house and monthly expenses together, and you have become more like room mates than husband and wife? When you stop enjoying spending time together and are merely co-habitating under the same roof together, it’s a sign that intimacy is waning. Intimacy is crucial to a healthy, happy marriage, and it may be time to bring in a skilled therapist who can help sort out what’s missing, and how to get the spark back.
7. Your sex life changed dramatically
In marriage, it’s common to go through periods of reduced sexual activity, but if you or your partner have lost interest in sex for a prolonged period of time, it’s a signal that something isn’t right. Speaking with someone who isn’t in your bedroom may help you figure out what’s contributing to the lack of physical intimacy in your relationship. Difficulties with sexual intimacy in marriage are not uncommon, and marriage counselling may help you get your groove back on.
If you’re not speaking or fighting constantly, acting like room mates, keeping secrets, or have any other obvious signs of marital issues – it may be a signal you could benefit from marriage counselling. Marriage counselling can provide the objectivity needed to see your marital issues from a different perspective, consider options and find solutions to problems you’re facing that may seem unsolvable. If your relationship is not as happy as it used to be, marriage mediation can help you to restore and build a healthier and stronger relationship. Why not give it a try.
From the Disputing Blog of Karl Bayer, Victoria VanBuren, and Holly Hayes. I recently conducted a Q & A via email with Richard J. Webb (pictured left) who writes the...By Holly Hayes