Likely when you first fell in love with your partner there was very little they could do that would annoy you. You probably weren’t reading articles about ‘signs you need couples therapy.’ You probably never imagined that something as innocuous as how they load the dishwasher would drive you bananas. However, it’s inevitable that once we slip past the honeymoon phase and reality sets in, we realize that all relationships take work and compromise and our partner is far from perfect.
All couples hit bumps in the road every so often. But many couples find themselves stuck in vengeful loops or resentment, anger, and frustration with neither party knowing exactly how to fix things. Sometimes we are able to break out of these loops or they course correct on their own and we return to homeostasis. But when this doesn’t happen we find ourselves faced with an uncomfortable truth: we need help.
5 warning signs you need couples therapy
1. You can’t seem to communicate or understand each other
If you have a communication breakdown, you’re unable to rationally discuss your thoughts, feelings, and concerns with each other. Misunderstandings occur at every step. Mind-reading, assuming, and words like “always” and “never” become a regular players in your dialogue. Not only can this destroy a relationship, unhealthy communication often leaves one or both partners feeling depressed, angry and hopeless.
2. Trust Has Been damaged, eroded or utterly destroyed
When there has been infidelity, it is very difficult for the couple to rebuild trust and repair the damage. While there is no magic pill to recover from an affair, a well-trained marriage counselor can offer tools and strategies to rebuild trust.
3. You feel More Like Roommates than lovers
Does it seem like you and your wife are more like roommates than husband/wife? Do you feel a lack of emotional connection and closeness with your partner? If it seems like you and your partner act more like roommates than romantic partners, this indicates a lack of intimacy and a potential need for marriage counseling.
4. You or your partner are Acting Out
You try to hide your real feelings as long as possible all the while pretending things are fine. Then you start acting out the hurt and resentment you may be feeling. For instance, your partner was unfaithful and you agreed to stay and work things out. But over time you find yourself lashing out, behaving unkind while trying to make them believe you’re having an affair so they’ll feel the same kind of hurt. This behavior is unhealthy for both of you and is one of major signs you need couples therapy.
5. the Only “Solution” Seems to be Separation/Divorce
A break from negative energy, arguments and tension can often be very helpful in a relationship. But when a temporary break leads to more and more time away from home and someone renting their own apartment, this indicates a need for couples counseling. Spending time away from home usually doesn’t lead to any real resolution, just more distance. Further, it just encourages the mindset of avoidance and distraction of our problems.
James Killian, LPC is the Principal Therapist & Owner of Arcadian Counseling in Greater New Haven, CT where they specialize in helping over-thinkers, high achievers, and perfectionists reduce stress, increase fulfillment and enhance performance so they can move From Surviving To Thriving.