Couples who seek out a therapist for their relationship have a 50% chance of their relationship lasting. When one or more in the relationship avoids their emotions, they are less likely to participate in therapy and less likely to commit to improving the relationship.
Couples Therapy can strengthen the couple individually and as a unit. It also encourages building/rebuilding emotional connections, healthy communication, and healthy ways to manage conflicts.
Couples often fear seeking therapy even as the last resort because of ineffective communication styles, arguments, how their spouse has been perceiving them, and how they will continue to perceive them. Sometimes we are stuck in unhealthy cycles with our partners. Sometimes we need to brush up on skills needed for our relationships. A primary goal of couples therapy should include improving and/or getting rid of systems that are no longer conducive to the unit.
Here are 7 reasons why couples seek therapy
1. Safe space
Couples seeking therapy want to be understood and to discuss their emotions/thoughts in a neutral space that is free of judgment. Therapists provide genuineness, empathy, understanding, respect. It is understood that the situations that brought them to therapy will not be shared with anyone else. You can look forward to both you and your spouse having time to express yourself. Siding with one spouse over the other can impact the effectiveness of therapy.
Spouses who feel misunderstood and or unheard tend to avoid being vulnerable to their spouse. Common communication issues in relationships include yelling, talking over one another, lack of feedback, blaming language, etc. Communication skills can be improved in therapy. Couples learn how to share their emotions, thoughts, and concerns effectively.
Where there’s tension, there’s resentment. Where there’s resentment there’s unresolved conflict. Our reactions to others frame how others view us. This is why there are some people who try their best to not be seen in a way that appears less than. Minimizing what one another has to say is invalidating and often couples who experience frequent conflicts struggle with self-validation and validating each other. With therapy, couples learn how to effectively resolve conflicts.
4. Emotional Intimacy
Avoiding and/or not expressing your emotions with your spouse stunts the growth of the relationship. Bonds with others outside of the relationship maintain or become even stronger, as a result. External (outside of the relationship) and internal (within the relationship) stress can contribute to emotional restraint in addition to other factors including past romantic experiences, attachment styles, relationships with family members, genetics, culture and learned experiences. Couples learn ways to increase their emotional intimacy in therapy.
Not all relationships injured by an affair and or betrayal result in separation/divorce. When an affair occurs, the other spouse experiences anger, hurt and other feelings. Trust is typically broken and initially may feel irreparable. Couples therapy can help couples navigate life after infidelity when couples are committed to moving forward.
Life transitions (new baby, moving, loss of loved ones, job changes, etc.) can have many different effects on couples including the possibility of decline in sex drive. Mismatched libidos and lack of physical intimacy in relationships can reopen attachment wounds, lead to an emotional disconnect and communication issues.
7. “Last Attempt”
Seeking therapy as a last attempt to repair the relationship would indicate that you want to be in a relationship with your spouse. Spouses must be willing to address and/or identify their own role in the relationship. Some couples seek therapy to gain “permission” from a professional to get a divorced, however this is not something that can be provided by a therapist. Couples come to the decision with the help of therapy, but the decision is solely up to the individual.
More reasons couples seek therapy:
Spouse coping with physical/mental health concerns
Relationship Check up
Couples Therapy has a success rate of 70%. Don't let it be "the last resort". Enrich your relationship!