Couples counseling is not just for those couples that are arguing every single day! I hear people tell me all of the time that couples counseling is for people who are contemplating getting divorced or separated. THIS IS SIMPLY NOT TRUE!
Life is not an easy task to accomplish and living with another person is even more difficult. We come to relationships with our own emotional baggage that is full of items such as: past disappointments, old scars, communication problems, trust issues and even grief/loss. Maybe you are thinking " just because I have been hurt, doesn't mean that I need couples counseling". That is a very true statement but let me try and give you a few things to think about.
If we could just TALK to each other
One of the biggest problems that therapists are seeing in couples counselling is the fact that no one is talking and no one is listening yet everyone is texting and facebooking and snap-chatting. As a couple, if we have forgotten how to talk to each other, we have lost our "groove". Talking is NOT:
My partner NEVER listens to me
I think that most partners make a valid attempt to "listen" to the other person, even if it is a half-assed attempt at it. When we talk about listening, we are not talking about "hearing". We all hear other people but most of us do not LISTEN.
- Being present with the other person
- Looking at the other person
- Reflecting what the other person is saying
- Understanding the underlying message
My partner shows NO appreciation for ANYTHING that I do
Wow! If I had a dime for every time I heard this phrase, I could retire and live on some warm and fuzzy island- okay, enough about me. As couples continue to grow and become accustomed to each other, we forget to appreciate each other. I know that no one does things "right" all of the time but every once in awhile, it would be nice to hear a word of encouragement or appreciation. When your partner does something-anything right, just recognize that they are doing something right. By nature, we focus on the negative things in life- those things that are wrong or missing. But how would life be if we focused more on the good things that are happening, the things that we are doing well or even just..doing?
If this resonates with you, maybe it is time to start that journey towards better understanding. Counseling/therapy is not a torturous thing, it helps you (as a couple) become closer and learn how to communicate better, learn how to love better and ultimately learn how to live better than before.