We Need Couple’s Therapy: Does This Mean Our Relationship Is Doomed?
It is completely natural to have anxiety surrounding going to see a couple’s therapist. For some, it can be akin to seeing a doctor when you are worried what they may say to you about your health. For others, going to see a couple’s therapist may not only trigger anxious feelings but also feelings of failure and shame.
“What if the therapist tells us our relationship is doomed?” or “I’m afraid the therapist will take sides.” and “What if they tell me it’s all my fault.” are all natural and common worries that sadly stop many couples from getting the help their marriage or relationship so desperately needs.
Unfortunately, there are also many negative stigmas attached to seeing a couple’s therapist. Family, friends, and society can explicitly or implicitly send negative messages about couples therapy and therapy in general. Some are made to feel as though something is deeply flawed or broken beyond repair when couple’s therapy is being sought out.
For Christian couples who need marriage counseling they might get advice such as read the Bible more, pray harder, go on a date night, read self-help Christian marriage books, and meet with your pastor. All of these are good to do. In fact, I recommend them! The problem, however, is that there are times when meeting with a caring and competent couple’s therapist is the best intervention.
Whether you are a Christian couple or not, married, in a long-term relationship, or engaged in the same way you would most definitely go see a doctor if you had a broken bone or cancer seeing a therapist who is specifically trained in couple’s therapy is the best choice. It does not at all mean that your marriage or relationship is doomed. In fact, the opposite is true meaning the chances of your relationship being doomed increases when you do not seek out professional couple’s therapy.
A trained and solid couple’s therapist will not take sides. Nor will they tell you it’s all your fault. This is because a couple’s therapist, especially an Emotionally Focused Couple’s Therapist, understands that conflict in a relationship is really about a person’s need for safety and security and that when people do not feel safe in their relationship it creates negative patterns of interaction that truly take two people.
As each person in the relationship learns how their emotions and behaviors trigger the emotions and behaviors of their significant others thus creating negative cycles they can learn how to communicate their emotions and needs with clarity, directness, and vulnerability which is how relational safety and security is built.
Many couples put off getting help which only makes matters worse. The wish for so many couple’s therapists is that couples would take a proactive versus reactive approach. In the same way you regularly change the oil in your car to maintain peak performance meeting with a couple’s therapist for “maintenance” would help you to have a happy and meaningful connection. Alas, this will sadly not be the case for most couples.
Regardless of your current relationship status I encourage you to find a couple’s therapy expert that can help you keep your marriage from doom. Couple’s therapy is not full proof. It’s not magic. It is hard. It takes commitment and is an investment of time, money, and energy. It’s like everything else in life. If you want good fruit you have to dig deep, sometimes do some pruning, and nurture your relationship so that it grows.
If you are ready to get help for your relationship call Crossroads Counseling call us at 623-680-3486 or text us at 623-313-5138. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to speak with a couple’s counselor. We offer a complementary 20 minute phone consultation.