9 Signs You May Need Professional Marriage Counseling
Suppose you were to watch a video re-run of the past twelve months of your marriage, what might it reveal?
If you see any of these nine signs, it may reveal you may need Marriage Counseling.
When a marriage gets into trouble, it’s sometimes hard for us to realize that we require marriage counseling. Reaching out for help with any life challenge, especially marriage help, is not something that many of us would find easy to do. Yet there may be signals indicating you need marriage counseling.
Yet, successful couples tell us that they’ve been through stormy times in their marriages and periodically reach out for marriage counseling to help them navigate through tough marital times. Marriage counseling can provide the objectivity needed to see our marital issues from a different perspective, consider options and find solutions to problems we’re facing that may be seemingly unsolvable. Many couples who have been through even the most distressful times and complex problems report that they have seen significant improvements by participating in a non-traditional approach to counseling marriage counseling. Whether your relationship is distressed, in crisis, or not as happy as it once used to be, your marriage may benefit from a Marriage Counseling Intensive.
Here are 9 Signs that Reveal You May Need Marriage Counseling:
1) You Don't Really Connect
One of the main characteristics of unhappy marriages is a communication breakdown. A healthy marriage requires healthy communication. Frequently misunderstanding each other can be extremely frustrating and discouraging and lead to a plethora of unproductive behaviors that can accentuate other marital problems. It’s not an understatement, communication in marriage is everything. It’s common for couples who are having various other kinds of problems in their marriage to say things like, ”We just don’t communicate.” The truth is however every couple communicates. However, it’s not just how much you talk to each other, but rather how well the two of you connect with and understand each other when you talk to each other.
If you find yourself or your spouse frequently complaining that you’re often misunderstood or not being heard, this may be a sign that your marriage is getting into troubled waters and marriage counseling may well be what will help the two of you better navigate through these turbulent times. Sometimes, a few sessions of marriage counseling are all a couple needs to get their communication- and their relationship back in sync again.
2) Keeping Secrets
It’s no secret that relationships are built on trust and honesty. So when one partner (or both) is keeping secrets, you can bet the marriage is headed for serious trouble. When it comes to your marriage, secrets are like arsenic. Tiny amounts may not be deadly, but if ingested repeatedly or in larger amounts, secrets, like arsenic can be lethal. Although telling the truth can be difficult and humbling, you’ll find that your marriage will thrive in an environment of honesty and openness. On the other hand, a marriage characterized by secrecy on the part of one or both spouses can spell disaster. If you feel you cannot trust your spouse enough to tell them something, or you suspect they’re keeping secrets from you, it’s time to seek help before things get out of hand.
Open and honest communication is vital to a healthy, happy marriage.
3) Constant and/or Unresolved Conflict
One obvious sign of marital danger is when you’re constantly disagreeing or arguing over small things. A woman told me this week “My husband and I argue constantly.” “Is that normal?“ she asked. “Yes” and “no,” I told her. Disagreements in a marital relationship are normal. We all disagree with our spouses from time to time. If both partners are expressing their true thoughts opinions and feelings, there’s bound to be some disagreement. That’s just normal.
But, some couples disagree a whole lot more than others. Even when disagreements turn into arguments it doesn’t have to escalate into something bad. It’s when disagreements escalate and turn into harsh words frequently, or when there are frequent, bitter fights that it becomes a problem. And it is a big problem if you say, “I’m fighting with my spouse constantly.” Arguing occasionally is healthy, but when it’s gotten to the point that it’s happening more than it’s not, that’s a sign you need marriage counseling.
4) Having an Affair
If you are leaning towards adultery or if you’ve already entered into an inappropriate relationship outside of your marriage, your marriage is in a state of crisis. This is a critical sign you need marriage counseling immediately. Although it will take some work, you can repair your marriage after an affair. It won’t be easy, but when you take those marriage vows you promised to remain faithful, ”for better or for worse”. You owe it to each other to do everything humanly possible to restore your marriage before considering a separation or divorce.
With the help of counseling and some hard work, your marriage can be restored, trust can be rebuilt and your marriage can become healthier and happier than it ever was before the affair ever happened.
5) Financial Dishonesty
This is an area that ties in with many other marital challenges. It comes down to trust and communication, and can greatly harm a marriage. Dishonesty of any kind is, again, a sign you should consider marriage counseling. According to Proverbs 101:7, ‘No one who practices deceit shall dwell in my house; no one who utters lies shall continue before my eyes.
Financial dishonesty can take many forms:
- Hiding money from your partner
- Lying or hiding your spending habits
- Attempting to control the family finances
All of which are unhealthy behaviors and signal a deeper problem. It’s essential to seek help if you find yourself with financial dishonesty in your marriage.
6) "Two Ships Passing In The Night"
If one or both of you feels that the two of you have become more like roommates than husband and wife, you probably need marriage counseling. When you stop enjoying spending time together and start acting more like roommates, merely cohabitating under the same roof together, it’s a sign intimacy is waning. Intimacy and healthy sex life are crucial to a healthy, happy marriage. Difficulties with sexual intimacy in a marriage are not uncommon. Fortunately, intimacy issues can usually be worked through with the right help, and you can likely find your way back to a fulfilling sex life with each other again.
7) Blaming Each Other
If you find yourself saying ”If only he/she would change or stop doing this we would be fine”, you’re placing the blame for your relationship issues solely on your partner. Marital issues are often complex and the cause is typically due to two parties. Blaming your partner without looking within serves to only make problems worse. We can only change our behavior. We often need some honest feedback about what each of us is doing to contribute. When you can accept that you have a part in your marriage issues, you’re already halfway to restoring your marriage.
8) Unavoidable Issues Dominate Conversations
Every couple goes through rough patches. And generally, in the duration of a marriage, unavoidable issues will come up.
Examples of these are:
- Infertility issues
- Financial issues
- A death in the family
The strength of marriage will be tested during stressful times such as these. But when they continue to dominate our conversation, it’s a sign you need an intervention. Don’t let it ruin your marriage. But if you find these issues keep cropping up and it is affecting your relationship, marriage counseling can help you put the issue to rest.
9) You Don't Spend Any Time Together Anymore
As couples, you’re expected to attend most functions or social events together. And as a couple, you do spend an awful lot of time together. But what happens when you find that you’re not spending any time together anymore? This is a serious signal of trouble.
When you’re married you don’t have to spend every waking hour together. It’s been said that space is vital in a healthy marriage. Some marital experts believe it’s even more important than a healthy sex life. So if you find there’s a major decrease in the amount of time you spend together, or you’re not spending any time together at all, think about reaching out for help for your marriage’s sake.
Many people have a hard time admitting they encounter difficult marital challenges. They view the need for marriage counseling as a weakness or defeat. But the truth is seeking marriage counseling is quite the opposite. It’s showing you have a strong desire to repair your relationship and you’re a person who doesn’t give up. It shows love and devotion even if you are struggling with a rocky marriage.
If you’re not speaking, spending time together, fighting constantly, acting like roommates, keeping secrets, or having any other signals you may need help, it’s time to seek marriage counseling and start restoring your relationship. If you’ve found yourself reading this article and have checked off any of these signs, contact us to discuss options to start rebuilding your marriage.