All couples have disagreements and many want to solve them. However, on many occasions, the first reaction to the possibility of going to couple’s therapy is asking: “Are we that bad?” In this article, we will tell you when couples therapy works.
What to bear in mind before starting couples therapy
The passage of time, the rhythm of life, the routine, the little interest in sex or the lack of communication can lead the relationship to an abyss, in which the help of an expert in couple’s therapy is key for survival.
Just as some situations that we face individually sometimes make us feel stressed and generate discomfort, in a couple, there are also going to be times of crisis. Overcoming crises strengthens the relationship but it is possible that in some of them it is difficult to reach an agreement. This is where couples therapy becomes fundamental.
The problems that arise in a couple are tried to be solved before resorting to the help of couple therapy. However, there may come a time when the members of the couple are not able to fix their disputes and the solutions that previously worked no longer do so.
The first step in knowing how to solve relationship problems is to accept that the cause of these problems lies in both. Assuming part of the responsibility when things are not going well is necessary to resolve the conflict. Even so, it is normal that the initiative to ask for help comes from one of the parties, either because they are more aware of the problem or because they have more information about the efficacy of couples therapy.
Below we explain the benefits that attending therapy together can bring to your relationship.
What can couples therapy help you with?
# 1 .- Improve sexual attraction
One of the main reasons people attend couples therapy is the lack of sexual desire and the reduction of intimate moments. Maintaining the level of satisfaction throughout the relationship is a difficult challenge that requires a lot of effort on both sides. The issue of sexuality is especially sensitive because it often has a strong sense of guilt associated with one of the members.
A therapist can be fundamental in helping each member assume their responsibility and being able to have, in a natural way, a conversation about what is happening and ways to improve the situation. Taking for granted that sexual problems are couple problems and not just of an individual one will make neither of them defensive and, therefore, the help will be more effective. The helping couples in the field of intimacy can improve sexual encounters, enhance experimentation, recover complicity and work communication.
# 2. – Help understand that you are independent people even if you are a couple
Being a couple is often confused with being an extension of the other person, and when this happens, conflict is assured. Understanding that everyone has an independent life outside the relationship and putting a limit on jealousy is the first step to have a relationship based on respect. Having a shared and individual social life reinforces the happiness of both.
The advice of a therapist is useful to dismantle the theory that a couple is better the less they are apart. This will help you to understand that leaving time to individual moments and not sharing every moment is necessary so that each one continues to grow as a person, which in turn will reinforce the partner’s complicity. Here you can read more about whether falling out of love implies the end of a relationship.
# 3. – Improve communication
Learning to calmly express what we think is necessary to strengthen a relationship. Making communication a strong point will guide the couple to know how to transmit their feelings and thoughts without offending the other person. In addition, the fact of not knowing how to communicate with your partner will result in moments of contention to avoid a discussion followed by an explosion of all those repressed feelings. Working on communication is essential in the day to day of a relationship but also when finding a partner.
It is important to keep in mind how relevant it is to know how to communicate, how to listen, and in this sense, having empathy with your partner is a requirement for things to go well. Here, the help of a therapist is key for learning to maintain a conversation based on opinion and avoiding attacking the other person. The working in common will favour talking without imposing or accusing and setting the objective of finding solutions instead of blame. This point is especially important in couples who spend long periods of time apart or have a long-distance relationship.
# 4.- Share quality time
Most of the time couples problems don’t come from not spending time together but because the time that is shared is not of quality. One of the changes that will promote couples therapy is to put your five senses in the moment you are living, focusing on the here and now will make you feel more special and understood by the other person.
Thinking about what you are sharing with your partner and not about what will happen next or what is still pending will facilitate that all the attention is dedicated to the moment you are living, thus strengthening a solid relationship. In this sense, a couple therapist can give you recommendations that will help you set goals, such as making a weekly date, trying to have breakfast together or spending time on a common hobby. As basic it may seem, starting an activity, like attending a cooking course together, will bring many benefits to the relationship.
# 5.- Settle or improve the bases of respect
In some cases, couples love each other very much but not in the right way. Precisely for that reason, love is not enough for a relationship to function and persevere with the passage of time. It is necessary to take care of many aspects so that the commitment is pleasant and generates happiness. Without a doubt, respect is one of the elements that need special care when talking about well-being in the relationship. Caring for the way and tone used when speaking to the other person is the starting point to improve the day-to-day.
Couples therapy focuses on the empathy of both members, since in the case of a loving relationship, in many aspects, it is necessary to perceive the couple as part of oneself. That’s why respect is one of the pillars of relationships and one way to practice it on a daily basis is showing gratitude. Giving thanks and value to the person with whom you share your life is a way to strengthen the bond that unites you. This is also essential when it comes to knowing how to control jealousy in a relationship.
# 6.- Work patience and avoid arguments
Patience, like many other qualities, can be improved and couples therapy can serve as training. Working on it has beneficial effects both individually and as a couple, since being impatient goes hand in hand with the lack of tolerance or understanding, and that generates rejection.
The starting point to improve patience is to understand that your partner is not perfect and therefore there are going to be things about them we don’t like. To avoid a sentimental breakup, it’s essential to work with the therapist to set objectives and goals that fit the reality of both. If the expectations are excessively optimistic, not seeing them fulfilled will generate frustration and will lead to new discussions.
# 7.- Create a positive climate in the household
Out of all the people who finally attend couples therapy, 75% report improvements. The improvements in the couple’s relationship have an impact on the daily since by improving communication and respect a more pleasant climate is developed in the household.
In case there are children, they will be one of the biggest beneficiaries of the changes in their parents’ relationship. It should not be forgotten that the children of the house perceive much more than it seems and they are aware of the moments of tension. The achievements of couples therapy begin to be present in each member and are extended to the nearest environment. Here you can do a relationship test to check the current status of your relationship.
# 8 .- Relativize those things that bother you and are not so important
If you stop to think if the things that involve confrontation with your partner have the weight you are giving them or are an unquestionable reason for discussion, it is likely that the answer is “no”.
Most of the time that thought does not exist and that leads to conflicts that could be controlled. This is, precisely, one of the objectives of couples therapy, not only to learn to manage problems but to avoid them whenever it’s possible. If you train in techniques to converse effectively, every time you notice thoughts like “I’m jealous when you’re with your friends … I can not stand when you don’t pick up the things you use … it seems like you don’t listen to me when I talk to you. .. “, you can solve them effectively without this becoming a conflict.
# 9.- Improve the attitude in other vital areas
The help of an expert can help you save your relationship as long as the fault is in the way you relate and not in one of the members individually. Here you can read more about how to fight a marital crisis.
If finally, thanks to the couples therapy, your relationship improves, you will notice the results in other vital areas. In a natural way, you can feel that your attitude and motivation at work increases, that you feel better about yourself and value yourself more, and even that your way of relating with family and friends is more pleasant.
If you want to improve your level of well-being, in TherapyChat we can help you. We are international leaders in online psychology and we have the right therapist for you.