When you first fell in love, you could never imagine that someday the sound of your partner chewing could make you want to scream. It’s inevitable that once we are out of our honeymoon phase and reality sets in, we realize that all relationships take work and compromise. But while some couples may hit bumps in the road every so often, other couples find themselves in bigger trouble, with neither party knowing exactly how to fix things.
If you are in a relationship that is no longer feeling healthy, here are 5 warning signs that it may be time to try couples counseling:
1. There is No Longer Healthy Communication
Once you have a communication breakdown, you are unable to rationally share thoughts, feelings, and concerns with each other. Beyond this, unhealthy communication tends to leave one or both partners feeling depressed, angry and hopeless.
2. Trust Has Been Broken
When there has been infidelity, it is very difficult for the couple to rebuild trust and repair the damage. While there is no magic pill to recover from an affair, a therapist can offer tools and strategies to rebuild trust.
3. You’re More Like Roommates
If you and your partner act more like roommates than romantic partners, this indicates a lack of intimacy and a potential need for professional help.
4. One or Both of You Has Begun Acting Out
You try to mask your real feelings for as long as possible, but then you start to act out the hurt and resentment you may be feeling. For instance, if your partner has been unfaithful and you have agreed to stay in the relationship and work things out. But over time you find yourself lashing out, acting rude and trying to make them believe you are having an affair so they will feel the same kind of hurt. This acting out is unhealthy for both people and is a BIG indicator you need to seek some help.
5. When the Only “Solution” Seems to be Separation/Divorce
A break from negative energy can be very helpful to the relationship. But among couples who have filed for divorce, as many as 40 percent are “mixed agenda” meaning one partner still hoping to save the marriage.
Additionally, up to 40 percent of divorced people have regrets about deciding on divorce, often because they feel they (and their partner) didn’t try hard enough to make the marriage work.
Thankfully, couples counselling can help you and your partner look at all of your options for your marriage or relationship before you commit to a path forward. I have taken specialized training from the Doherty Relationship Institute to help couples in this situation.
If after reading this you feel that you’d benefit from some additional support with your relationship, reach out. Even though we cannot meet face to face right now, online couples counselling is easy to access and effective. I offer free 15 minute consultation appointments so we can make sure we’ll be a good fit. All of my appointments are being done online through a secure video platform or by phone for people who live anywhere in Nova Scotia.