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Marriage is hard work. Everyone knows it, everyone says it. So why is it often so difficult to admit or accept that we need help? Marriage counseling is a great option for a myriad of issues that you might encounter, and there are hundreds of excellent professionals here in San Diego. If your relationship isn’t what it used to be, marriage counseling can be a wonderful help. A professional can provide you and your partner with the tools you need to navigate the challenges of marriage together.
If you’re wondering whether you need counseling, here are a few signs that you ought to seek a marriage counselor.
1. LACK OF COMMUNICATION
Marriages canhit a communication roadblock, and a marriage counselor can help you navigate around the obstacle. Whether you’re having difficulty discussing a particular issue or you feel as though you’re just not “on the same page” anymore, counseling can help. If you and your partner have lost the ability to communicate, there’s no better time to seek help in getting back on track.
2. NEGATIVE COMMUNICATION
Good communication is not just what you say, it’s how you say it. Once you and your spouse beginto negatively communicate with one another, it’s challenging to dial back and start the conversation on a better note. It will be harder to continue the conversation once the communication breaks down. A counselor can help you learn to let go of the past and approach a topic without getting defensive.
3. TAKING SIDES
Married couples disagree, it’s inevitable. Issues arise when you start to view your spouse as an adversary. Married couples have to remain on the same team. If you’re feeling like you and your spouse are on opposite sides of a line in the sand, a marriage counselor can help you resolve problems by remembering that it’s always you and your spouse versus the problem, not versus each other.
Not spending enough time together can put a major strain on a relationship. Maybe you and your partner work opposite hours, or one of you has a full social calendar while the other does not. Couples don’t need to spend every single moment together, but quality time spent together is vital to a healthy marriage. The key is quality time. Spending all your time around one another is not necessarily the same as spending time with each other.
5. ROOMMATE SYNDROME
Married couples can often hit a rut. Your lives can get hectic and stressful, and it’s easy to overlook the needs of your partner. Couples can sometimes put each other “on the back burner” in periods of turmoil, and this can lead to feeling like you’re not really a couple anymore. It’s hard to break a habit of not being intimate, but fortunately, it can be easy to resolve with proper guidance from a marriage counselor.
Fighting is one thing, but spiteful, petty interactions with a spouse can seem small at first, but they lead to major trouble. If you and your spouse find yourselves driving each other crazy over seemingly inconsequential issues, it can be a sign of something wrong at a deeper level. It’s normal for couples to occasionally be bothered by the little habits of their respective partners, but if you notice that you’re annoying each other more than ever, it’s a great time to stop and seek help.
7. CONSTANT FIGHTING
Perhaps the bickering stage is where you were months ago, and now you’ve moved onto having full-blown arguments with your spouse. If you’re arguing more than you ever used to, and you can’t seem to agree on anything anymore, it’s time for some counseling. A marriage counselor can help you clear the smoke to find the fire, so to speak.
8. NEVER FIGHTING.
It may seem strange, but not fighting can actually be a bad sign in a marriage. Couples that go through periods of fighting can hit a point where they “give up” and no longer have the energy to fight. This can be a very bad sign, as it can lead to each person bottling their feelings, and instead of truly resolving anything, they simply shut down and can no longer approach one another at all.
9. FINANCIAL SECRECY
There isn’t necessarily a right or wrong way to handle finances within a marriage. Couples determine together the best way to navigate the shared and separate finances. However, sudden changes in how finances are discussed or handled can be a bad sign. Suddenly needing to control the finances or keeping one another in the dark will lead to major trouble, and it’s a good idea to have a marriage counselor help facilitate healthier communication about money.
10. LACK OF INTIMACY
Sex is important. Intimacy is vital. It’s perfectly normal for couples to go through dry spells, but it can also very easily become a chronic problem in the marriage. Keeping the spark alive is a key aspect of a healthy marriage. If you and your partner have hit a point where you never touch each other, counseling can help. It’s not always easy to discuss such an intimate topic. Remember that this is a very common issue in many marriages.
11. KEEPING SECRETS
Trust is an important part of the foundation of a marriage. Once lost, it’s extremely difficult to get it back. If your spouse is clearly keeping something from you, marriage counseling is a must. Maybe you’re the one that doesn’t know how to talk to your spouse about something. Either way, facilitating honest, open communication between couples is exactly what marriage counseling is for.
12. AN AFFAIR
If you’re thinking of having an affair or already in the midst of one, you need to seek counseling immediately. This is a huge marital issue that is best navigated with professional help. It’s not impossible to rebuilt trust and save the marriage, but it’s going to be so much harder trying to do it on your own. Before considering separation or divorce, talking it out with a counselor can be very beneficial to both you and your spouse.
13. INTRUSIVE FAMILY
When you marry, you also gain family members. Maybe you and your spouse disagree about how often is too often for your in-laws to visit. Maybe your brother-in-law has hit some hard times and expects to stay with you indefinitely. Maybe your mother-in-law is critical of the way you parent. Family can be a sensitive topic between couples, and marriage counselors can help you maintain relationships with them while setting healthy boundaries.
14. PERIODS OF CHANGE
Major life changes are stressful. Whether it’s losing a job, losing a house, moving out of state, having a child, career changes, a death in the family, or any other major shift, marriage counseling is a great way to adjust and learn to deal with your new reality together.
15. YOU THINK IT MIGHT HELP
Regardless of what you’re dealing with, the time to seek marriage counseling is whenever you want. If you’re asking if you need it, the answer is probably yes. Whatever the outcome, it can help just knowing that you’re trying something to get your marriage back on the right track. There’s no wrong time to seek counseling.
Every couple encounters problems. Remember that there’s no shame in asking for help. It can be hard to admit that you don’t think you’re able to fix things on your own. Seeking marriage counseling can reaffirm your desire for things to get better. The sooner you begin, the sooner your marriage will be back on the right path.