Even people who would say they have a great relationship might sometimes find things to complain about when it comes to their partner. But, when do little complaints or thoughts we keep to ourselves become too much to handle? If you know you don’t want to give up on the relationship, but something needs to change, it might be time to consider couples therapy. Not sure if you’re ready to take that leap just yet?
Consider the six following signs. They are usually very clear indicators that couples therapy may be needed in order to strengthen and mend your relationship. If any of them sound like what you’re going through, it may be time to consider therapy sessions for you and your partner.
1. Every Conversation Turns Into a Fight
Every couple bickers and argues. However, if you can’t get through a simple conversation without it turning into a fight, there may be something deeper going on. This is one of the more obvious signs that couples therapy is needed, and yet, it’s still a sign people tend to ignore. Learning how to communicate properly is a skill not every couple has right away, and it’s something that can be learned through proper counseling.
2. You Bury The Negatives
If you’re not fighting all the time, maybe you’re doing something just as harmful; burying your issues under the rug. If you keep telling yourself everything is okay, when it’s killing you on the inside, it will eventually boil over. This can work for awhile, but no one can keep their true feelings bottled up forever.
3. You’re in an ‘Issues’ Cycle
You’ve probably heard the old adage that couples fight most about things like money, sex, and/or family. But, there are probably very specific fights about certain issues that you have within your relationship. Bringing them up once in awhile may not be a big deal, but if every disagreement brings up the same issues, those issues need to be dealt with in a healthier manner. Otherwise, you’ll never get out of that cycle.
4. You’re Afraid to Talk
There’s a difference between sweeping issues under the rug, and actually being afraid to bring them up. If you’re scared that even the smallest of problems could be blown out of proportion if you bring them up, that is clearly a lack of good communication. A therapist will help you to work through your issues and learn how to talk about them openly.
5. You’re Living Two Different Lives
If you’re acting like a couple that isn’t together, that reality may be soon to follow. Couples are different from roommates. That doesn’t mean you need to do everything together, or even have the same hobbies. But if you’re spending all of your time apart, doing ‘your own thing,’ it could signal an underlying problem you’re not properly addressing.
6. A Shift in Your Sex Life
It’s normal to go through ‘stages’ in your sex life. You may have a dry spell here and there. But, if you’ve noticed a significant drop in your intimacy with each other, it’s a clear sign something is bothering one (or both) of you. On the other hand, an increase in sexual activity can also indicate a problem. If one partner is constantly encouraging it, they could be trying to hide something, or make up for something they feel guilty about.
Waiting too long to see a therapist can spell disaster for a relationship on the rocks. If any of these signs resonate with where you are in your relationship, don’t hesitate to get the help you need, and start re-building as soon as possible.
Written by Kin Leung, MFT, providing couples therapy Burlingame