Brittany Lashua, PhD, LPC
How to Know When to See a Couples Counselor
1. You feel stuck or like you've lost the "spark."
Do you do the same thing over and over and over again? Sleep. Wake-up. Work (stay at home mom is work). Eat. REPEAT. There is really zero connection with your partner during your day. You may be sitting here reading this saying, "HEY! WAIT A SECOND! We watch a show together every single night." Is that really quality time? Are you snuggling and having great conversation? ....during your show? Don't get me wrong, I LOOOVE my husband and he has the best voice in the whole world that I want to listen to the rest of my life...... except when I'm watching Grey's Anatomy. It's ok to shout me down from your home. I hear you! ...I digress. My point here is that if you are stuck in a pattern of disconnection, if you feel like your relationship is lacking romance and intimacy, or just that little thing between the two of you that you look forward to every day when you wake up...you're a good candidate for couples counseling. Better now than before it becomes more effort.
2. You don't have fun anymore.
This one definitely ties in to the one above it, but I felt as though it deserved its own because fun is so important to relationship. When is the last time that you went on a date? What do you do that you BOTH consider to be fun that makes you feel closer as a result? If these are hard questions for you to answer, you're a good candidate for couples counseling. You might be thinking, "How in the world can a counselor help us have more fun? Counseling sounds like the opposite of fun!" Couples counseling can help you get outside of your own routine and help you come up with creative ideas to revive the fun. PLUS, there are often reasons beyond "we don't have fun anymore" as to why you don't have fun anymore.
3. Most (if not all) conversations turn to fights.
Maybe you're in this boat... you don't mean for them too... but its like everything (or almost everything) that comes out of either of your mouths leads to a fight. You're fighting about "dumb" stuff like if ONE dish is left in the sink then it means that he thinks you're his maid AND if you're running late to get out the door then you don't value his time (these are just examples of course...but you get my point). And ALL couples, I repeat ALL couples, fight about ridiculous stuff. But its when the ridiculous stuff start having underlying meanings about how the other person REALLY feels about you, that it is trouble. Maybe, some of the fights are "big deal" and its over stuff that you have been fighting about for a while... there is so much emotion about and its kind of like there is an elephant in the room all the time... probably time to get talk to a professional. This really is NO way to live.
4. You have thought about separating or divorce.
If you find yourself thinking about divorce, its probably time to go see someone. These thoughts really start to grow. I mean I don't know if you've ever had a pimple on your face (I know I have)... and its like that is all you can see is this stupid pimple on your face. Except that, your face is composed of a lot more elements than JUST the pimple on your face. Go look in the mirror. This is essentially what you are doing when you are thinking about divorce. The flaws of your partner are ALL that you seem to be able to see... and it makes sense to try to rid you face of the metaphorical pimple.
There is a difference really entertaining the thought and fleeting thought. When Josh (my gorgeous husband) and I were first married, we were having an issue and I wondered if I had made the wrong choice. That was scary, but it was not enduring. I wasn't looking for all his faults... I was just dealing with a hurdle I didn't expect to experience. So, I questioned the relationship. There, I said it... (I AM HUMAN TOO). Now, that I am done telling on myself.... If you find yourself having fleeting thoughts regularly or enduring thoughts of not being with you partner... It's time to go to talk to someone. You are not hopeless and neither is your relationship.
If you're struggling, with how to tell your partner that you think its time to talk to someone but don't know how... check out this blog here... and don't fault me for my shameless plug.
From my heart to yours,
#couplescounseling #marriagecounseling #stuck #nospark #fighting #divorce