Top 11 Reasons Why You Might Want To Start Couples Counseling
Most couples start counseling in the midst of a crisis. Things have reached a boiling point, a break-up or divorce may have been threatened, and one or both partners may be feeling hopeless about the possibility of ever returning to normal. If you find yourself looking for relationship counseling in the midst of crisis, know that you are not alone. However, starting therapy before relationships have hit this critical point can oftentimes lead to more successful outcomes. Below, I list the most common reasons that bring couples in to counseling. Learning to spot some of the warning signs can help you and your partner make the decision to seek therapy before your situation starts seeming impossibly bleak.
- You cannot stop fighting. You fight about the same things over and over again. You fight about things that seem very minor or insignificant, but you cannot stop yourself. Your fights feel like they never get anywhere. You do not know how to end a fight. Nothing ever changes after your fights.
- You want to learn how to communicate with each other. You have problems discussing difficult topics. You do not feel heard or understood by your partner. It is hard to tell your partner what you want.
- You feel emotionally, physically, or sexually disconnected. Your partner no longer interests you. Things feel distant. You do not feel any spark or chemistry. You find yourself withdrawing. It feels like there is no space in your lives for your relationship.
- You want to talk about sex. You feel a lack of romance with your partner. Sex feels robotic or routine. You never have sex anymore. You feel inexperienced or naïve about sexuality. You are interested in learning ways to enhance your sex life. You experience particular issues with arousal, enjoyment, or orgasm. You are afraid to share a sexual fantasy or desire with your partner. You are interested in trying alternate forms of sexual expression. You have a history of abuse that makes sex feel intimidating. You feel uncomfortable in your body.
- You argue over money. You feel more conservative financially than your partner, or you think that your partner is too frugal. Even the smallest purchases or financial decisions cause huge rifts. You have different value systems around how money should be spent. You have vastly different incomes, or you feel that there is a power imbalance in the way financial decisions are made.
- You have gone through a major life change, either separately or as a couple. A family member died. One of you lost your job. You had a falling out with a close friend. You are moving in together, or moving to a new city.
- You are having problems with your in-laws. It feels like your relationship is being invaded by other people. You wish your partner would stand up to his or her parents. You feel ganged up on. You are starting to notice undesirable qualities that your partner shares with his or her parents.
- You or your partner has been unfaithful. You wonder if your relationship can ever recover. You cannot comprehend how trust can be re-established.
- You are arguing about parenting choices. You have different parenting philosophies, values, or moral judgments. You feel the pressure of trying to be a good parent. You wish you and your partner could act as a team.
- You are about to get married and want to do pre-marital counseling. You want to clarify your goals for your marriage, talk about your plans for the future, and make sure you are on the same page before taking this huge step in your relationship. You want to resolve some lingering issues before making this commitment to each other.
- You want to explore, or are already exploring, alternate types of relationships. You are in an open relationship, poly, kinky, or queer. You struggle with the emotional and logistical realities of your relationship. You are tired of society’s or your parent’s judgments.
Interested in finding out how your therapy can help improve your relationship? Call (415) 658-5738 or visit my Appointments page to schedule a consultation session.