Before You Consider Divorce, Consider Couples Therapy
As human beings, it is in our psychological and physiological nature to desire intimacy and authentic connections with others. But what happens when one of the most important connections, the one with our spouse or partner, seems strained to a point beyond repair? Unfortunately, couples may reach this point from a variety of stressors – anything from infidelity, a lack of emotional connection, financial issues, substance abuse, communication that evolves into contempt, criticism, or defensiveness. It is at this point that couples tend to consider divorce. Before deciding to step away from your relationship, consider how a marriage and family therapist can support you through couples counseling.
Benefits to Consider
Develop Active Listening Skills. Active listening is harder than it sounds. It requires the listener to remain attentive to what the other is saying, keep an open mind and withhold judgement, ask clarifying questions, and summarize any points or themes that the listener agrees with. The practice of active listening can be helpful in reducing conflict and encouraging self-reflection and understanding.
Find Your Voice. Develop the skills needed to put your feelings into words. Often times, couples don’t know how to express their emotions, leading to miscommunication and the use of hurtful language. In therapy sessions, couples are provided with the tools necessary to practice healthy communication, which can lead discussion to flow in a productive and positive manner.
Learn About Yourself. Sessions are a time to reflect and learn about yourself as well. You will learn more about the relationship dynamic and what role you play in it. Sessions can be a time to think about your individual needs. Can they be met in the marriage? Often times, yes. Sometimes not.
Utilize Your Therapist as a Mediator. The topics discussed during a session can be uncomfortable, but a marriage and family therapist can help you navigate difficult conversations by serving as a third party mediator. Your therapist steers the conversation around productive topics and helps couples strategize communication techniques that can make the relationship work. Ultimately, the therapist’s role as a mediator is primarily to serve as a guide, and the decision of whether or not to continue the relationship is left to the couple.
At the end of the day, repairing a damaged relationship can be taxing and will require both parties to sacrifice time and emotional energy. Remember, it takes two people to make a relationship work. Be sure to check in with your partner and ensure that you are both on the same page and willing to work together to create a happy and healthy marriage. If you and your partner are finding it difficult to mend your relationship or cope with the process, seek professional help with one of our qualified therapists. Find thousands of therapists using our online directory. Our therapists are eager to help you take the next step in your journey!
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