Marriage can be a wonderful relationship when it is healthy one. Most couple begin their marriages with happiness and expectations of a good life together. Sure, there will be problems but together we can get through anything or so we think. Then unfortunately life begins to happen and things they did not expect can begin to affect their marriage. So often, we have not learned how to communicate, problem solve and work together in ways that can strengthen the marriage when trials and hard seasons come.
There are many times in the life of a marriage when seeking counseling can help to resolve issues and strengthen marriages. In the past, seeking a marriage counselor was often a last-ditch effect to save a marriage. Now, many couples regularly seek marriage counseling as a way to deepen their relationships. It can be beneficial to have a counselor to help navigate unresolved issues and provide tools to better communicate and help the couple work together.
There are some situations that can indicate it is time to reach out for help in your marriage.
Lack of Respect.
One or both partners are having trouble showing respect. Some examples of this are:
- They may be dismissive like what you are saying is not true or belittles the important of what you say
- Not willing to listen to the other person
- Rolling their eyes when the other person is speaking
- Make fun of or laugh at your opinions
- Try to tell you how you should feel or what you should think
- They are inpatient when you explain their thoughts, feelings, and opinions
- They try to diminish how you feel or think
- They are inattentive such as looking at their phone when you are trying to talk to them
- They may interrupt as you are trying to talk
- They may make fun of how you feel
How you communicate as a couple is critical to how you will feel about the relationship, how you both together function and grow as a couple. Some communication concerns could be:
- Most all the conversations end up as an argument
- Words and conversations are filled with anger
- Words chosen are negative
- The tone of the words is sharp, hurtful and make the other person feel insecure, depressed or withdrawn.
Often there are problems that just have not been able resolved. You have tried some compromises, but nothing has worked, and you both are out of suggestions and ways to work on the problem. The longer a problem goes unresolved, the more feelings about the problem are intensified.
Living Like Roommates.
Often couples can begin to simply live like roommates. You may be communicating and working together in your daily life but some of the wonderful aspects of being married have been lost in that season. Some transitional times such as being new parents can lend itself to feeling like this. It is important to not let circumstances move you into this type of relationships. Being a couple requires intentionality on both people in the relationship to place the marriage as a priority and work on it.
There can be various concerns about intimacy that can helped by working with a counselor. Some of those concerns may be about:
- Self-esteem issues
- Lasting effects of martial affairs
- Lack of desire
- Different expectations
Often when conflicts remain unresolved, one of the partners may choose to act in spiteful ways. Spiteful behavior is trying to hurt one other either by words, actions, or lack of actions. Some spite is in your face, but it can also be passive-aggressive. No matter how this is displayed, it is harmful to the person and damaging to the relationship. Normally spiteful behavior is done to cause hurt, jealously or other negative emotions. This is not a healthy way to deal with any issue and will not bring resolution to the problem or concern.
How Can Working with a Counselor Help?
There are many benefits when you work on your marriage with a counselor. The focus in couple therapy is to strengthen the relationship. Some of the benefits are:
- Improved and more effective communication
- Learn how to share feelings and opinions respectfully and discuss hard topics like finances
- Learn how to better understand the needs of each person and how to work together to build a relationship that values and fosters each person’s needs
- Learn how to dream together and how to develop goals for the relationship
- Learn how to share, respect, and incorporate each person’s values and beliefs
- Learn new tools to help strengthen problem solving as a couple
- Discuss expectations as a couple and the roles and responsibilities of each person
- Help understand and deal with how past relationship issues can affect current relationships
All relationships need intentionality, time, and ongoing effort. Just as you are changing and growing as a person, so is your relationship. Seeking counseling to make a good relationship even stronger is a wonderful way to show your commitment to a lasting and healthy relationship.
If you are relating to some of the concerns shared in this article, our therapists would love to meet with you. For more information on our practice, please see https://upstaterestorativecounseling.com/