Angry Words and Slammed Doors? Six Reasons to Try Couples Therapy
All relationships have their rough patches, but if you and your partner find yourselves fighting more often than not, it may be time to make significant changes. As you evaluate your future together, a serious option to consider is couples counseling. When both parties willingly participate and want to actively work toward bettering their situation, therapy can be an extremely effective step in mending broken relationships.
Below are six of the many reasons your relationship may benefit from couples therapy:
1. Counseling keeps the two of you in the same room.
For you and your partner, it may have become a challenge to even stay in the same room once a fight begins. If slamming doors and fleeing the scene have become your go-to way of coping when an argument ensues, couples therapy may provide the necessary structure your relationship currently lacks. By “forcing” the two of you to remain together, even when things become tense, your ability to communicate and verbally express your frustrations will automatically improve. Plus, you get the added benefit of a neutral third party mediating the conversation—and intervening if things get too heated.
2. Your counselor brings a fresh perspective to the situation.
If you and your significant other have been fighting for some time, you are likely rehashing many of the same issues over and over. Couples counseling enables you to meet with a licensed professional who knows how to help you work through your problems—yet who knows absolutely nothing about your relationship history. Therapy provides you and your partner with a “fresh slate” that allows you to work through your current issues with only the relevant information needed. Because your therapist is a new component in your relationship, he or she provides a fresh perspective and does not bring the same biases that a close friend or family member would.
3. Counseling explores deeper issues.
While your therapist will not automatically know every detail about your life up to this point, couples counseling allows you and your partner to work through past problems and to explore deeper issues that may be contributing to current negative behaviors. Problems in your marriage—or problems in each individual’s life that may be contributing to problems in your marriage—may be deeper and go back farther than either party ever imagined. Through counseling, you have the opportunity to heal old wounds and to mend broken hearts that otherwise would have gone unnoticed.
4. Therapy provides a set, designated time to talk and work through issues.
If you are like many arguing couples, you may have mastered the art of giving your partner the silent treatment. While it might seem like an achievement to successfully go throughout the day with minimal verbal and physical contact, ignoring your partner will not make the problems in your relationship magically go away. Because it is slated in a specific time slot several days each month, a counseling appointment can serve as a steady, recurring block of time where the two of you must talk and work through the issues. Because your counseling sessions are scheduled ahead of time, there are few excuses for either party being unprepared or absent
5. Couples therapy provides a safe environment.
Fighting with people you love is never fun and it is likely that others in your life have become affected by your negative behavior. If your children, roommates, friends, neighbors, and extended family have been present during arguments with your partner, you may have felt guilt, shame, or embarrassment. Couples therapy provides a safe, isolated space for the two of you to talk, cry, and sort through baggage—without having to worry about making a scene or offending other people in the room.
6. Couples therapy helps you see the other side.
All too often, we get caught up on our own experience and cannot see the conflict from our partner’s eyes. While it is likely that your concerns are valid and that your needs are worth meeting, it is easy to become focused on the “me” rather than the “you.” Couples counseling enables you to see things from your partner’s perspective and to empathize in ways you otherwise may have been incapable of. If you are willing to listen and sincerely hear what your significant other has to say during a counseling session, you may be surprised at what you can discover.