It’s not enough that two people love each other and want to be together. Successful relationships take a lot of work. Anyone who has been in a long-term relationship knows that what may start off as a small issue can develop into a serious problem that could affect the future and health of the relationship. Before this happens, it’s a good idea to consider seeking help from a licensed and trained professional. But how do you know when it’s time to stop relying on your best friend or co-workers for advice and seek out professional help? Here are five signs that it may be time to see a marriage counselor.
Communicating Has Become Difficult
At the beginning of the relationship, most couples talk about anything and everything, often sharing their most intimate thoughts and dreams. However when partners begin to withhold dialogue and communication, professional help may be in order. Maintaining that open and honest level of communication is one of the most vital aspects of a healthy relationship – especially as relationships become weighted down with familial, professional, financial and social obligations. When communications have become stressed or barely existent, a marriage counselor can help reopen those lines and promote healthy communication skills and behaviors.
Trust Has Been Broken or Abused
Healthy relationships are built on trust and honesty. So it’s no wonder that infidelity is one of the most stressful events a relationship can experience. In some cases, the seemingly harmless flirty tweets or messages posted on social media can be enough for a partner to feel discarded and hurt. And while some might believe that infidelity has to be sexual in nature, cheating could also mean hiding finances, addictions, identity concerns or any other issue. Where trust is broken or abused, expect a lot of work to salvage the relationship. In these cases, a marriage counselor can serve as a mediator to help repair the gap where trust may no longer exist.
Stuck in a Bad Groove
Remember the movie “Groundhog Day,” in which the title character is forced to relive the same day, every day, until he accepts change? When a relationship is stuck in the same groove – consistently repeating the same bad behaviors and diving down the same rabbit holes – it may be time to seek out professional assistance. Nobody can change the past, but with the help of a marriage counselor these behaviors and issues can be addressed in a fresh light with a focus on strategies to overcome them.
A Life-Altering Event Happens
Many couples experience problems, but when a life-changing event happens like the birth of a child or loss of a job, the effects can be overwhelming to the status quo. Learning to navigate through these uncharted territories may require a guide with the experience and know-how to see you though to calmer waters. There are very few scenarios a marriage counselor hasn’t seen, and with that experience and compassion they can get you through.
Mutual Support Isn’t There
We all strive for validation, especially from our partner. When a partner feels as if they are no longer receiving support or encouragement from the other, communication and trust can wear down. Involving friends or family, or worse, involving children, can only seek to divide and create animosity. The best bet is to seek help from a marriage counselor who can bring issues into the open and bring in unbiased expertise.
Making the choice to pursue couples counseling is a huge step toward validating and saving a relationship. At Advanced Psychology Partner, we know relationships take work. If you are experiencing problems in your relationship, contact the professionals at Advanced Psychology Partners by calling (973) 534-5333 or, request your free consultation. We are here to help.