Estimated reading time: 4 minutes
By Kara Hicks, LCSW
Timing is an essential element in whether couples counseling works. Unfortunately, most couples wait much too long to reach out for help. According to relationship and marriage expert Dr. John Gottman, couples wait for an average of six years of being unhappy before getting help.
6 YEARS! Think about this statistic for a few minutes. Couples have 312 weeks to build up resentment before they begin the important work of learning to manage differences in effective ways.
Don’t be one of those couples that waits 3,153,600 minutes before reaching out for couples therapy. Read the information below to see if couples counseling may be right for you NOW.
Couples Counseling Quiz
Are any of the circumstances below TRUE for your relationship?
- You are going through a major life change.
You are having a baby or have a newborn, there has been a death of a loved one, you or your partner are about to retire, or there is a big move or job change on the horizon.
- You’re thinking about getting married.
You want to commit to your partner but are worried that you are not on the same page or don’t openly communicate. You ask yourself, “What if the honeymoon phase ends”? or “What if some of our issues get worse?”
- You are talking, but it often turns negative.
Most of your communication is negative (e.g. combative, defensive, aggresive, passive-aggresive, etc.), leading to arguments or ongoing conflict. When arguing you think to yourself “would I/we just be better apart than together?”
- You are afraid to talk to your partner.
You text more than you talk with your partner face-to-face. The worry about what will happen if you talk about something that is bothering you is so great that you avoid talking about important things. In other words, you avoid a failed conversation by not conversing.
- You have ideological differences.
Your views on politics, religion, finances, sex, in-laws, marriage, kids, retirement, etc. don’t align.
- You are keeping secrets.
This could be infidelity, thoughts about engaging in infidelity, relationships, lack of opening up, or keeping finances or purchases from your partner.
- You are living separate lives.
You are not supporting your individual or collective goals as a couple or for one another. You start to operate like roommates or individuals just passing by one another.
- You tell yourself everything would be okay if my partner would just change.
You think they are the problem. You are not taking ownership of your role and contribution in the relationship. This often leads to avoidance.
- Your sex life has changed significantly.
You think, we basically are in a sexless relationship. I wish we had sex more often. I’m not having sex until I get what I want out of the relationship. Sex feels like a duty, obligation, or chore.
You recognize some of these circumstances to be TRUE in your current relationship. So, now what?
Well, according to the Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, couples counseling works about 70% of the time to positively impact the relationship.
This tells me that it’s time to talk with your partner about counseling.
Before you find a couples counselor, there is one prerequisite for couples therapy. It’s important that you and your partner agree to work on some of the challenges straining your relationship. If you have talked with your partner and you both agree to work on the relationship, then it is time to reach out to a couples counselor.
You can start by scheduling an informational callback by clicking the button below or call us at (954) 488-2933.
On the other side, if your partner is not willing or already has checked out of the relationship, then it might be time to focus on getting additional support for yourself, such as individual therapy.
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