The Time is Now for Couples Therapy
If things could be better between you and your partner, now is a good time to consider couples therapy. Don't wait until you're at a breaking point to guide your relationship back on the right path. When it comes to dealing with issues in a relationship, the sooner you act the better your chances of succeeding become.
Therapy isn't a form of punishment or a chance for anyone to place blame. Counseling with Mary Shull means learning the tools to improve your serious relationship. Once you become vulnerable with your therapist, it helps to create custom goals and start healing the relationship. Through professionally guided therapy, you and your partner can feel positive about the future.
Seize Your Chance to Improve Your Relationship
Something must be wrong at home, or you wouldn't be reading this article. Many positive opportunities exist in therapy sessions, and they make great reasons to stop putting off couples therapy. See if you identify with one or more issues that you want to address in your home life:
Reflect on Your Relationship
There are two possibilities going on between you. First, there are issues you must address inside yourself. Second, there are issues to resolve with your serious partner. If you truly want to strengthen this loving connection, you need a reality check. Get an objective evaluation of what is going right and what is going wrong. If both partners can articulate their relationship issues from their perspectives, there is room to move forward and grow closer.
If you struggle with anxiety, depression, self-esteem issues, codependency, substance abuse, or other serious health problems, you might lack the tools at present to be in a healthy relationship. There's so much to deal with internally that giving to your relationship leaves you constantly emotionally drained. You want everything to work out because you love your partner, but, first, you must fix yourself. Allow time to shift your mindset about how to be in this relationship while addressing your immediate needs. If you aren't taking care of your problems, they stand in the way of healing the partnership.
Develop Better Routines for Self-Care
Remember, therapy isn't the only part of the solution. Entering therapy will help you identify what is wrong with your relationship with yourself and with your partner. But, you need an action plan to change how you live your daily life. If you create better routines, including improved nutrition, sleep, exercise, communication, and recreation (i.e. spending more time alone), you will have more positive energy to give couples therapy. But, if you both aren't committed to the counseling process, it might not work.
Decide if the Relationship has a Future
This isn't a therapy outcome anyone wants to consider. Sitting down with a therapist with or without your significant other can produce feelings of uncertainty. For example, in a therapy session, perhaps your partner shares he is imagining what it would be like to have a romantic or intimate connection with someone outside the relationship. This makes you feel hurt or angry and, then, you stop going to therapy to avoid facing the truth that there is a problem with your love life. Open discussion of the relationship issues such as infidelity, fighting about finances, and decreased intimacy can make you both question whether you're still compatible. There are many ways to save a marriage, but talking to a trained therapist helps you determine the best course of action.
Prioritize your Relationship.
Another thing couples often find in therapy is that they have built their lifestyles to spend less time together. They have stopped going out on date nights, made excuses for why they shouldn't have relations, and other bad habits. They also pour themselves into other relationships at work, with friends, and with their kids. When these routines develop to help you survive in the marriage, they can also drive a wedge between you and your partner. You start living like two single people in one household. The distance between you becomes harder to bridge. You need better communication tools to rebuild the closeness you used to feel. Some partners have never been that close emotionally, but they truly want to find more intimacy.
Give the Relationship a Chance
As a person, you grow and change every year that you are in a loving relationship. Your partner also changes. If you don't grow together, you start growing apart. In therapy, it is okay to accept how your partner has changed and how you've changed. Mary helps you be honest with each other and build better communication practices for the future, which can change your perspective and help you fall in love again. However, such results are not guaranteed.
Free Yourself from the Past
Another important component of therapy is working through past issues and letting them go. This includes forgiving yourself and your partner for any wrongs of the past. You can't keep bringing things up you resent or don't like about the marriage, such as if one partner cheated, or it's difficult for the relationship to reach a more positive stage. There needs to be love, respect, hope, trust, and friendship between two partners for therapy to work. Both partners might need time alone to heal themselves and separate therapy sessions to reach the point of rebuilding the marriage.
Learn to Help Yourself
In the end, you have everything to gain by entering couples therapy. This can still be the year that you fix your marriage and feel happier with yourself. If you avoid personal and family issues, then you won't change the bad habits that have become integral in your paired-up lifestyle. Therapy forces you to be honest with yourself and figure out how to change your behaviors. When you truly buy into therapy, then you feel empowered to make changes in your routines, which can alleviate anxiety, depression, health problems, and other roadblocks. You deserve to be happy and live your best life!