The nature of a relationship is often one of compromise, sacrifice, and, at times, disagreement. It’s true—all couples argue. This is healthy and normal in a relationship. But how do you know when your romantic relationship could use some outside input? Sometimes relationships need help from an objective third party. This is where clinical counseling comes in. The following are some signs you and your partner could benefit from a licensed couples therapist:
Growth in the relationship has plateaued
Respectful boundaries are being crossed
Constant and persistent fighting
Lack of communication is pervasive
One or both parties have been unfaithful
Intimacy is lacking
Every relationship has its peaks and valleys, its highs and lows. Not every day is going to feel like a success, and some days there is nothing that can bring you two together. And while we can’t be perfect, we can be honest. Be honest with yourself and with your partner. If you feel like you and your partner are not growing as a couple, then it may be time to see a therapist. Signs of stagnated growth include:
Laziness and indifference toward your partner
Concern for what your partner thinks has diminished
You stop trying to please or make your partner happy
A decline in consistent and compassionate communication
No active steps taken to improve the relationship
There’s an old saying that goes, “Women need love, but men need respect.” This couldn’t be any less true, in that both men and women need and deserve respect in a relationship. Signs that you don’t respect your partner (or your partner doesn’t respect you) include:
Talking over one another
Lack of attentiveness when listening
Feelings of resentment or anger toward each other
Not updating one another on whereabouts, plans, etc.
Verbally putting down one another, either publicly or in private
Gossiping about your significant other to friends or family
You can’t quantify or measure the amount that you and your partner argue because the nature of an argument is subjective. What you may classify as an argument (a curt tone) may be completely different from what your partner does (yelling). Nevertheless, you and your partner can usually tell if your communication is filled with more discord than it is with harmony. Signs include:
Disagreeing more often than you agree
Stewing over past conversations or arguments
Feeling like you can’t be honest with your partner
Avoiding conflict altogether even when it is healthy and necessary
Fighting during inappropriate times
Insulting your partner
Argue to stimulate or to gain attention
In any relationship, if communication is lacking, it can be difficult to find common ground. Most relationship problems boil down to poor communication. Signs that you and your partner could communicate better are:
Passive-aggressive behavior toward each other
Gaslighting one another
Frequent irritation or loss of temper with one another
Making assumptions about what your partner thinks or feels about a situation
Conversations frequently turn into arguments
One of you compromises more than the other
If you or your partner has been unfaithful, this is an alarm signaling that you need to see a couples therapist. It’s important that both members of the relationship attend therapy, rather than just the offending party. This is because, although cheating is inexcusable, it is often a symptom of a much larger, underlying problem in a relationship. You both need to discuss what’s going on beneath the surface with a professional present. A couples therapist will help you discover unhealthy patterns within your relationship, help you communicate with one another, and help dissect what went wrong in the relationship that led one of you to cheat. Your couples therapist may also help you both determine if you want to continue the relationship. You may find that the relationship is not worth saving.
You’ve probably figured out by now that not every day with your partner will feel like a romantic movie. After the first three to six months, you likely realized that the “honeymoon stage” of the relationship is over. Reality descends upon you and your partner, and you find that the obstacles of everyday life keep you apart. It is very normal to experience relationship lulls, where neither you nor your partner is experiencing that emotional “high.” This will certainly impact your level of physical intimacy with one another. While sex will never solve your problems, a lack of sex can be a sign that you and your partner are either miscommunicating or don’t feel safe with one another.
If you or your partner frequently find yourself “not in the mood,” if you are selfish during intercourse, or if the sex is unenjoyable, these may be signs you need to see a couples therapist. Problems rarely stop in the bedroom.
The quality of your personal relationships has a direct impact on your mental health and overall wellbeing. If you or your partner think you need to see a couples therapist, there is a wide array of options available to you! At SokyaHealth, we offer a variety of services that can be tailored to you and your partner’s needs. These pathways can supplement healthy intimacy, communication, respect, and growth as a couple. We provide treatment to those in the Alaska, Oregon, and California regions. In addition to in-person services, SokyaHealth also offers treatment via telemedicine, including individual and group therapy, counseling, psychotherapy, crisis intervention, medication management, and life coaching. Our kind, compassionate and comprehensive therapists have tools to help you and your partner achieve the healthy life you want to live together. For more information or a free consultation, call SokyaHealth today at 866-932-1767.