Couples’ counseling is often painted as a last resort before divorce. Some individuals who are struggling with their relationship might hesitate to suggest it to a significant other, fearing that therapy is too big of a step, or an unnecessary risk that will only make things worse.
In fact, many couples may feel ashamed to seek couples’ counseling or therapy, or wary of the stigma associated with taking that step in a relationship. Research has shown that only 25% of divorcing couples have participated in couples’ therapy, and those who do waited on average six years before finally attending a counseling session.
There should be no shame in beginning couples’ therapy. Consider it routine maintenance for your relationship, which is a huge emotional, mental, physical, and sometimes even financial investment.
Not only that, but there are many reasons – other than considering divorce – to begin couples’ counseling. Even when things are going well in your relationship, there may be outside factors that you and your significant other are tackling head-on that require an external perspective or advice.
Setting boundaries with in-laws, children, siblings, friends, exes, and others that please both individuals in the relationship can be tough. A therapist can facilitate communication between significant others to help manage these existing outside connections, and establish how they can have a positive – rather than negative – impact on the relationship.
Combining two existing families through a relationship or marriage can be both exciting and nerve-wracking. Counseling can help a couple work through finding the identity of their new blended family, combine parenting styles, and express any concerns in an effective manner.
Overcoming Technology Issues
Social media, video games, even virtual reality are all a huge part of our everyday lives, which means they also factor into a relationship. Couples can use a therapy session to establish how they’d like their significant other to handle interactions on social media, when it’s appropriate to communicate via technology, and what boundaries need to be in place. For example, not allowing cell phones in the bedroom.
Receiving Premarital Counseling
Marriage is a huge step. Between wedding planning, bridal showers, and bachelor/bachelorette parties, it might be wise to find time for premarital counseling. You can use this time to address some of the considerations that may come up in a marriage. These are things such as how finances will be handled, and whether both parties want to have children and when.
Although couples’ therapy may have a negative stigma, there are many happy and healthy relationships that receive counseling to continue to have the relationship they desire. The Light Program has many therapists who are qualified to provide couples’ counseling. To learn more, call (888) 686-7511 today.