During my post graduate degree I spent a lot of time learning about therapy as a form of treatment. Numerous discussions were had on the notion of recommending our clients participate in something that we didn’t necessarily believe in. And I completely got it. How could I encourage a youth I was working with or two parents I was working with who were going through relationships challenges to give therapy some consideration if I wouldn’t give therapy two thoughts when it came to my own marital challenges.
Having seen a therapist off and on since being an adolescent I was no stranger to it but my education and subsequent career in Child Welfare allowed me to see it from a different perspective. And with that came a chance to help provide a sense of normalcy for my clients who bought into the idea that going to therapy meant something must be terribly wrong. Because the reality is while there could be something terribly wrong therapy could also signify something terribly right, like the fact that you value your relationship enough to do whatever it takes. Or the fact that you realized that sometimes someone on the outside looking in can offer some insight that you and your spouse may not have thought of. And then, there’s the possibility that when it comes down to it you haven’t got anything to lose, but rather a whole lot to gain like a more harmonious relationship with your spouse and some insight on how to navigate relationship challenges as they come.
Recently I read an article via Your Tango that highlighted some of the things that might signify a potential need for couples therapy but here’s the thing — they are actually normal. And regardless of how strangely your spouse may have looked at you during your last argument you both (ok maybe not them) are totally normal whatever that means. The point being a need or even desire for therapy shouldn’t be associated with negativity. Take a look at a few normal reasons you and your spouse may need therapy:
5 Reasons You and Your Spouse May Need Couples Therapy 1 of 6
Take a look at 5 normal reasons you and your spouse may want to give consideration to couples therapy.
You’re not satisfied with your sex life 2 of 6
While dry spells happen from time to time, it is expected that you won't stay in one. Couples who aren't engaging in intimacy may find themselves "feeling more attracted to others or thinking about cheating." As a result it's a good idea to start investing more into your relationship.
A major life change 3 of 6
A major life change such as a job loss or birth of a baby can result in a strain in your relationship. The increased strain may result in a need for outside support.
Outside influences 4 of 6
Sometimes relatives or friends become too involved in your relationship. Perhaps you shared too much with them or the boundaries have been blurred. If their role in your life is causing a strain, even if they mean well, seeing a therapist might be a good idea rather than allowing them to come between you and your spouse.
An unsuccessful attempt at balance 5 of 6
People have different thoughts on the notion of balance and whether or not there is such a thing. Perhaps you have been trying to juggle your career, relationship with your spouse, parenting duties and all the other things that fill your plate. And maybe, just maybe you dropped the ball somewhere along the way and you and your spouse are struggling to deal with the fall out. Seeing a therapist might help you and your spouse learn some tools on how to better manage the various facets of the life the two of you have built and are continuing to build together.
You’ve become a broken record 6 of 6
The two of you are having the same disagreement over and over. If the fight you are having sounds familiar due to an inability to get past a certain issue you may want to consider talking to someone with a different perspective. Your Tango notes "talking to a neutral third-party" may be helpful.
In the end it is your relationship, which means if you want it you will have to decide what you are willing to do to preserve it. Within reason of course, now is not the time to go crazy. Depending on whom you talk to therapy can have a negative stigma. Which means you may just need to stop talking (unless it’s to your therapist of course). You don’t owe anyone an explanation for why you and your spouse have decided to seek additional help or support. And if therapy isn’t your spouse’s thing but you feel it could help consider meeting with a therapist solo to share your concerns and go from there. And of course, don’t forget that you, yes you, are normal. A little weird maybe but in a normal sort of way. For additional reasons you and your spouse may need couples therapy visit Your Tango.
Photos Source: istockphoto
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