If you’re currently in a troubled marriage, it’s important to know when it’s time to seek out marriage counselling. A counsellor can help you and your significant other work through some of the bigger issues you’re dealing with and even provide you with some resources and support services if you need them.
Counselling may very well end up saving your marriage, but it will require a commitment from both individuals. Whether you’re dealing with a lot of stress, having difficulty managing anger, or are finding that you and your spouse are drifting apart after years of marriage, it may be time to consider getting help from a professional.
Here are five tell-tale factors that your marriage needs counselling:
#1: You can’t stop bickering. The occasional disagreement is a sign of a healthy marriage but if you’re always bickering, fighting, and nitpicking about little issues, it could be a sign of a bigger problem.
You can’t be expected to get along all the time but you do need to be able to resolve day-to-day issues together and not get caught up in immature fighting, quarrelling, and bickering. If you find yourself always caught up in some type of battle with your spouse – even over the simplest matters – it may be time to seek out the help of a marriage counsellor.
Marriage counsellors can help you both determine what might have triggered a fight or disagreement, and how it could have been resolved in a healthier way.
#2: Your partner has stopped caring what you think. Every couple struggles with communication problems at some point in their marriage but these can be resolved when each person is honest, open, and responsive. If your partner has simply stopped caring about what you have to say and ignores any of your efforts to communicate entirely, things can only get worse.
A marriage counsellor may be able to intervene with some strategies for making this relationship work, and also hash out some of the unresolved problems that are causing one spouse to simply ignore the needs and requests of the other. Sometimes a spouse simply doesn’t want to face the uncomfortable issues and will be coping with this fact simply by turning a blind eye.
Get help from a marriage counsellor so that these problems can be bought out into the open and you can work on bridging the communication gap.
#3: You’re having intimacy issues. If one partner stops initiating any intimate contact or always seems to be too tired or too busy to spend time with the other, it could be a sign of trouble.
A lack of physical intimacy doesn’t necessarily mean that the marriage is coming to an end, but it is not a step in a positive direction. The less emotional and physical connection you have with your spouse, the harder it will be to maintain a healthy relationship.
You can discuss the lack of intimacy openly with a marriage counsellor and see where your partner stands on the issue.
#4: You can’t agree on your goals and personal values. One of the biggest reasons why you married each other was probably because you had similar goals, personal values, or a vision of a happy future together.
If you feel like you no longer share these goals and personal values, you will probably end up hating – not admiring or valuing – each other. If you can no longer agree on goals, what you want for your future, and no longer share some personal values, it may be time to sit down with a marriage counsellor and discuss where each spouse stands on various issues.
Counselling can open up the lines of communication between both parties and help you get a better understanding of how your goals and values might have changed over the years.
#5: You realize that your partner has cheated on you. For some people, this is the breaking point of the marriage and there is no way of restoring the relationship. For those who want to give their spouse another chance and work on building a better relationship with their partner, marriage counselling may be an option.
A marriage counsellor can help the cheating spouse confront the other and even ask for forgiveness. The counselling session can help to unearth any underlying issues that may have driven the spouse to cheat, and also help to restore trust and a healthy line of communication between the couple. Cheating doesn’t have to end your marriage if you don’t want to.
Working with a marriage counsellor can help both couples deal with the issue at hand and move on in a more positive direction.
And if you and your spouse to diagnose the issue yourself because for one reason or another you’re too embarrassed to see a counsellor, attending one of the many counselling courses available out there is also a great alternative.