6 Signs You May Need to See a Marriage Therapist

A generation ago, the idea of seeing a marriage therapist came with the stigma of a couple being on the brink of divorce. We can’t help wondering if this hesitation to seek help before things escalated too much contributed to many of the marriage breakdowns we’ve seen!

Joy and I believe that couples who seek counselling don’t have to be those who are at the end of their rope. It’s perfectly fine to find help for areas that we may be having difficulty dealing with. And considering all the baggage that each member brings into the marriage, it’s not surprising that there can be lots of these issues, even if the marriage is perfectly healthy and thriving!

But sometimes, you may be wondering if it’s time to seek outside help. Remember, by outside help, we don’t mean one or both of you bemoaning your woes to an officemate or friend behind your partner’s back; if anything, that can only aggravate matters! Instead, our aim is to be able to iron out our issues and communicate better with our spouse! That’s why it’s also important to check the credibility of a therapist. Usually, for marriage counselling, it’s ideal to have sessions as a couple as well as individually.

    
It's perfectly fine to find help for areas that we may be having difficulty dealing with. And considering all the baggage that each member brings into the marriage, it's not surprising that there can be lots of these issues, even if the marriage is perfectly healthy and thriving! 
    
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6 Warning Bells to Ask Help for Your Marriage

Here are some important signs to look out for:

1. You can’t talk about important issues without exploding in a fight.

Sometimes, couples can get so much on each other’s nerves with unresolved issues that just burst out almost all the time. In cases like this, it may help to have a professional mediate, or to learn healthier ways of communicating and expressing your thoughts and feelings.

2. You can’t see eye-to-eye in things that are crucial to both of you.

Values are the things that each of us deems most important to us. When we have clashing beliefs and convictions with our spouse, it can be a source of constant distress. We call these kinds of conflict a conflict of values, and recommend learning to make compromises.

But sometimes, if it has become too heated, you and your spouse may struggle to talk about it. A professional can help you explore these values from a neutral perspective.

3. You feel like you have to tiptoe around your spouse.

It’s sad when one of you feels the need to tread the line all the time; perhaps this is caused by prior experiences of anger or pain. Doing so is a sign that you and your spouse still have unresolved conflict beneath the surface that you don’t want to trigger. However, simply sweeping it under the rug and walking on eggshells is not going to solve it; you will need to get it out in the open–but not just any which way, either, because you can’t just force your spouse not to be angry! If you feel that you’re carrying a load too difficult to resolve, a marriage therapist may help.

4. One of you habitually lies to the other.

Lying is a big sign that something is wrong. The person who lies usually does so out of fear, whether real or imagined. It could be a real fear if the other party constantly gets angry or abusive, or it can be imagined if the person who lies fears possible consequences that has never happened yet. Still, either way, it erodes trust in a marriage and can take much work to build up again.

5. One or both of you is abusive (verbally, emotionally, or physically).

Now, abuse is never right, and in some cases, it may be best for the couple to be separated for a season while they find their respective heap and healing. But if diagnosed early, couples can still get help and improve the way they manage their stress, anger, and other negative emotions and learn to express them in healthier ways.

Note that the abuse doesn’t have to be physical; people who dole out verbal or emotional abuse also need help!

6. One or both of you have–or is suspected to have–an affair.

When a married person has an affair, it gives a blow of betrayal to his or her spouse. This takes time and effort to heal and to build trust. Usually, marriage counselling can help, but both parties need to be in with both feet.

Asking Help for Your Marriage is OK

Remember, asking for help to improve your relationship with your spouse doesn’t mean that you or your partner is a bad person. We all need to grow in different areas all the time, and the more that you want to learn, the bigger the chances that you could enhance the way you communicate and relate with each other.

If, after reading this article, you feel the need to consult with a marriage therapist, feel free to reach out to us through our contact page. 

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