Even happily married couples can hit obstacles along the way. When this happens, couples can either go it alone and try to work through their issues themselves, or they can seek the guidance of a trained and experienced marriage counselor. While some couples believe their problems should be kept private, many more find value in seeking help from an impartial and nonjudgmental third-party.
Here are three ways individual counseling and therapy can help your marriage:
Identify Behavioral Patterns
Most of us are aware of our partners behaviors, but unaware of our own. And, most of the challenges spouses deal with are the result of the patterns between them. But when you only see half (or less) of the dysfunctional patterns, the problems in the marriage can seem confusing and overwhelming. This is where resentment begins to grow.
A skilled therapist is trained to help individuals recognize their own negative patterns and how they manifest in a relationship. This is done through the mindful implementation of increasing awareness and insight. The result is both partners are empowered and able to step back during conflicts as they occur, preventing further escalation.
As a bonus, the therapist can also point out the strengths and resources they find in your relationship so you can leverage and learn how to nourish and foster them.
Change at the Core
As your therapist helps you identify negative patterns, they can also help you understand why they are happening and assist you and changing them. Most behavioral patterns are formed and ingrained when we were very young – long before we become self-aware and before we ever met our significant other.
Understanding why your partner acts a certain way leads to deeper empathy and communication. Once you’ve laid a solid foundation, your therapist can give you specific adjustments that can create profound changes in your relationship – for the better.
Create Deeper Connection
A therapist will not only tailor changes based on your unique dynamics as a couple, they will help you practice the adjustments and encourage you to remain vigilant and consistent. The result is a deeper intimacy and a deeper understanding of each other with a renewed commitment to meet each other’s needs and desires.
While many of us may feel embarrassed at first discussing marital problems in front of a stranger, ultimately a marriage counselor can bring you both to a more emotional connectedness and intimacy in your relationship.
Life is hard. Marriage and relationships are too. Don’t let them be more challenging than necessary. If you’re struggling with your relationships, seek the counsel and support of a well-trained therapist you really like and connect with to create a more meaningful, enriching, and fulfilling relationship not just with your partner, but with everyone in your life.
James Killian, LPC is the Principal Therapist & Owner of Arcadian Counseling in New Haven, CT where they specialize in helping over-thinkers, high achievers, and perfectionists take control and move From Surviving to Thriving.