Every couple is not spared from conflict. For others, it’s arguments about money or dysfunctional sex life. The current pandemic has yet contributed to another possible stressor – more time spent at home, increasing the tension, or uncovering concealed holes in a relationship.
The American Psychological Association reports that about 75% of partners have decided to go through therapy, claiming it has enhanced or fixed their relationship. It only takes an hour or two a week to concentrate on each other without any distractions.
Below are some common reasons why couples might need to go through counseling.
Infidelity. One of the most typical reasons for couples to seek counseling is when someone cheats. However, cheating doesn’t necessarily imply physical infidelity. Concealing something and keeping secrets is a form of emotional betrayal. You might reach out to your ex through social media and say to yourself, “This is nothing. I’m just trying to have fun.” But all of a sudden, it becomes more than that.
From the moment you feel like you are lured into cheating, it is better to seek counseling. If one of the partners is already engaging in an affair, there is clearly a means to turn around. Experts say that one-third of couples overcome an affair, but commonly the couple decides to go into counseling and exert time and effort to fix their marriage.
Growing Apart. Time and time again, we’ve seen couples that have been together for years fall out of love and grow apart from each other. Divorce or separation is a common subject when a marriage is usually in its seventh year. It just feels like they are just running a household for some partners but without any love or intimacy for each other. They become lonely and eventually ask, “What has become of us now?”
Couples often do not recall what actually got them together, which made them fall in love. If you have been with a person for quite some time, you have created memories, history, and life stories that you cannot make with another person. Couples counseling can help restore that.
Financial Conflict. Finances have always been a touchy issue for partners, but add in the extra worries and stress that baby boomers face – possibly fewer earning power years and potential health matters – you have yourself an environment that is vulnerable to financial conflict. Arguments may be rooted in arguments about retirement, spending, and saving or different spending styles. Stress may arise when there is a lack of money or inequalities concerning which partner is responsible for paying this and that.
Counseling assists couples so that they may understand their marriage with money and how it forms their insights about themselves and others as well. At times, the way people perceive and manage money is connected to past events. Counselors tried having their clients build a family tree and express how they feel about financial issues – how parents and children discuss, spend, and save money.
Major Transitions. Big changes can alter the state of a relationship, whether it’s presently good or bad, and various coping strategies are expected to cause friction. It could be retirement, children moving out, or an illness. Perhaps you’ve been spending a lot of time caring for your kids, and when the time comes for them to leave. Suddenly, you get to spend more time with your spouse and realize that you don’t know him anymore.
Unexpectedly caring for a sick parent or loved one, which eats up a large part of your attention and time, could also present a gamut of challenges. If your partner does not handle the stress well or is not supportive, the situation could stoke emotions of hate and discouragement. Couples counseling can help you manage the new normal by rebuilding bonds you and your partner once had.
Poor Love Life. Studies reveal that the most common response of divorced people who were asked why they decided to split up was lack of intimacy. For most couples, there is no longer live in their sex lives. Years of mundane habits and routines can make sex less fun and exciting. Sometimes, one spouse could be too tired, or having sex is merely a thing to check off from the list. Medication effects, bodily changes like menopause, and health problems can also cause sex to be daunting for couples.
On the other hand, many couples are emotionally but not sexually intimate but are still affectionate. As long as both partners are contented with their situation, there won’t be problems or issues. Couples counseling is beneficial if one or both partners are not satisfied with the degree of intimacy.
It can be tough and embarrassing for couples to talk about something this sensitive. Still, an effective counselor can walk them through the conversation and should be capable of making both partners feel more relaxed discussing sensitive topics.