The idea of couples therapy may turn off some folks who feel that the practice is only meant for couples whose relationships are on the fritz, rather than a generally healthy relationship going through a rough patch.
In actuality, the former and latter are true. Couples therapy encourages the participants to talk through their problems and be taught various trust exercises that will help couples maneuver their issues more strategically.
Whether platonic or romantic, any lasting relationship involves investing a great deal of energy, commitment, and patience. Couples therapy is for anyone who still has the determination to salvage their relationship and has faith that it has the potential to last.
Who Could Benefit From Couples Therapy
The reality is that it doesn’t matter what your background is, how long you’ve been in a relationship with someone, or how old you are. Any couple could benefit from the insights they stand to gain from getting couples therapy with their partner.
Every relationship inevitably undergoes various transformations in life. These could be from moving in together or having a child. You may even experience financial hardship while together and not know how to navigate those experiences.
We’re not inherently equipped with the necessary skills to easily confront difficult situations, we learn them, and it’s no different in a romantic relationship.
Therapy sets you up with the valuable skills to avoid turning a brief rough patch into a relationship’s downfall.
Foster Better Communication
Communication is at the heart of every good relationship, and a lack thereof could be at the root of a disagreement. It can be easy to let things escalate in a heated argument, but why risk hurting each other’s feelings when you can instead learn valuable skills to communicate more productively?
In general, fostering good communication skills will significantly benefit you outside of your romantic relationship. You could see improvement with friendships in the workplace and anywhere you could potentially face conflict.
You’re Experiencing a Transition
Transitions are a part of life, and when entering a long-term commitment with someone, it could seem evident that significant life transitions just come with the territory. While it seems intuitive, it’s normal to get so overwhelmed with raising children or caring for a loved one who’s fallen ill that you neglect to nurture your relationship in the same way.
The issue doesn’t lie with vilifying the need to tend to your responsibilities instead of your marriage; it lies in both parties not supporting one another and causing a rift during these big life changes.
“Even if you and your partner are getting along fine, a big change can shake up the dynamic of your relationship, and different coping styles are going to create friction,” says Amy McManus, Los Angeles-based marriage and family therapist.
Learn Effective Coping Mechanisms
When we’re up against a wall and overwrought with anger or frustration, we can attach harshly to our partners without meaning to. That’s why it’s important to learn healthy coping mechanisms. Coping strategies help you better regulate those larger-than-life feelings so that you and your significant other can resolve disagreements more smoothly.
It will also help you prepare for future conflict and alleviate anxiety for everyone involved since you’ll both have a roadmap for handling the subsequent dispute in your relationship or perhaps avoiding it altogether.
Regain Trust in Each Other
One thing is finding out your partner has deceived you with a white lie, but another thing is revealing your partner has been unfaithful to you or has betrayed your trust. Either way, deceit damages a solid foundation of faith in a relationship, and without the proper guidance, it can cause a relationship to be cut short.
This isn’t to say that an unfaithful partner is worth fighting for, but if you value your relationship despite it, being able to trust each other again can be an uphill battle. It will always be a hurdle that will set the connection back. However, a trained counselor can teach you how to move it forward.
Create a Safe Space
Finally, even when you’re upset with your partner, it’s comforting to know that you’re ultimately safe with them and that you’ll eventually come to a resolution together. Therapists will help you be vulnerable with your partner to create a safe space that nurtures honest communication, and having a safe space will also help you set healthy boundaries.
Going to a therapist will provide a neutral third party that will make starting the process much easier, allowing you to go on and enforce this helpful practice together when you’re at home.