Whether you are a newlywed or you’ve been married for years, you know there are times when your relationship goes through rough patches. While this definitely isn’t a happy realization, the good news is that it doesn’t need to spell the end for your marriage. Relationships naturally go through ups and downs, and the great thing about a marriage is that you and your spouse made a serious commitment to each other on your wedding day. This means you both have a reason to work hard and figure out how to improve your marriage.
Some couples are able to pull out of the hard times on their own, whereas others benefit from counseling or therapy. One of the most important things to remember about choosing to seek help from couples therapists is that it isn’t a sign of defeat. Rather, choosing to get help shows how much you and your spouse love each other and want to do everything possible to make your marriage happy and healthy again.
When You Should Seek Counseling
There really is no hard and fast rule that says when you should seek help for your relationship. It’s different for every couple. The best time to seek counseling is when you and your partner become tired of the status quo and want to do what it takes to change things for the better.
If you’re ready to find some help for your relationship, consider making an appointment with a therapist or counselor. Couples therapists are highly trained experts in relationships, and their goal is to help you and your spouse become experts in your marriage. While therapy sessions may vary slightly depending on the unique issues in your marriage, the basic goal is the same: to teach you both how to connect better with each other in a loving, respectful, fulfilling way.
Learning How to Communicate
It may seem simple, but the underlying foundation to a good relationship is communication. Nearly every problem in a marriage can be traced back to a failure to communicate well. Regardless of the overt reason for marital problems (e.g. fighting, in-law relationships, sexual issues), the answer is always found through open and honest communication.
A good therapist will take you and your spouse through many exercises to teach you how to communicate better with each other. You may also be assigned books to read or communication homework, such as writing letters or conversational role-playing. The goal of all these tasks is to get you and your partner in the habit of truly listening to each other, and then speaking honestly and respectfully. Once you learn how to incorporate meaningful conversation into your marriage, you are well on your way to a happy and healthy relationship.