Marriage is hard work. In the beginning, it’s magical, romantic, and exciting. However, as the years go by it takes a lot of effort to keep your marriage running smoothly.
Not to mention people change as they get older, and often you aren’t married to the same person you met decades earlier.
The question on the minds of many couples is when does a little adversity at home cross over into needing marital counseling?
When Your Spousal Communication Breaks Down
No two marriages are alike. Couples bring their expectations and backgrounds to any union. While relationship dynamics are as unique as fingerprints, the most common reason for marital counseling is a lack of communication.
Couples could be arguing constantly or not speaking to each other for weeks at a time. They could be constantly criticizing each other or be afraid to discuss important issues like money or sex.
A breakdown of communication creates an emotional distance between couples, which is like throwing fuel on the fire of a troubled marriage. In many cases, re-establishing good communication in therapy can help correct the problem.
Partners Start to Keep Secrets From Each Other
As we talked about, bad communication is the culprit of most marriage problems. One effect is that couples begin keeping secrets from each other. Some secrets are simple, the amount of money spent shopping for instance, others not so much.
Secrets can get as severe as partners cheating or hiding issues like substance abuse or gambling. Couples can recover from a partner having an affair, but it’s a hard, long road with no guarantee of success.
The American Psychological Association (APA) reports that approximately 75% of couples engaged in Emotionally-Focused Therapy (EFT) find success. The other 25% are typically in a toxic relationship where therapy simply won’t help.
When Your Sex Life Shifts Dramatically
A significant change in your sex life can be a sign that something is going on. This also includes having sex more often than normal.
Couples typically stop having sex because they no longer feel intimate with their partner, which echoes back to the importance of good communication. An unexpected increase in sex can signal feelings of guilt by one partner. Either way, there is an imbalance in the relationship.
Many of these symptoms of a troubled marriage are connected and can be worked out in marriage therapy.
Tips on Finding Marital Counseling
If you’re reading this article, chances are you’ve decided to get help. The Braden Counseling Center offers marital counseling services across Illinois.
Don’t be deterred by the fake “stigma” attached to therapy. More couples than ever are signing up for counseling and saving their marriages. The Braden Counseling Center also sees clients dealing with domestic violence, substance abuse, alcoholism, and trauma.
Check out the center’s blog for more information and tips related to mental health.