Many of us are under the mistaken impression that couples therapy is a type of therapy that is generally reserved for married couples and that counseling with your partner is not necessary unless you are going through a marital crisis. In fact, therapy is a healthy option in any relationship where there is a breakdown in communication or the presence of an issue that cannot be resolved satisfactorily by the parties involved. I often see people try to self-help their way through issues with guru fad books, podcasts, and personality type tests; however, assistance from a licensed professional can often make a critical difference in the quality and longevity of a relationship whether the parties are married or not. Let?s examine some of the issues that could potentially be resolved more effectively by counseling with your partner than without counseling.
When two parties in a relationship have agreed that the relationship is exclusive, nothing can be more damaging than violation of that sacred trust. The pain of betrayal is profound, lasting, and often results in the end. However, in cases where the individuals involved value the relationship to the point where they would like to continue past this obstacle, it is helpful to have a third party involved that can mediate the discussion of the situation and this is where therapy is paramount to a successful outcome.
2)?Lack of communication.
Arguments, hurt feelings, disagreements and the general perception that we are not on the same page as our partners are all indications that we might benefit from couples therapy. Perhaps we get the impression that what we feel is important is perhaps less so to our partners. Sometimes it can be difficult to get our point across to our partners without the discussion escalating into an adversarial engagement. Counseling with your partner can be an effective method to generate a conversation in a neutral environment where a therapist can intervene if tempers begin to flare.
The issue of dishonesty applies to sins of omission as well as commission. When we are less than honest with our partners, or they toward us, the relationship is compromised, even in the case of so-called white lies. Also, if we choose not to disclose an important fact to our partners, or the reverse, and this fact is discovered subsequently to the dismay of the other party, we have entered the realm of trust issues. When trust has been affected in a relationship, sometimes the damage that results is profound enough that the trust must be rebuilt with the assistance of a professional and this rebuilding process can be can be enhanced through therapy.
Regardless of whether we are married or not, any issues that might threaten the health of our relationships merit resolution and if we are unable to accomplish resolution satisfactorily with our partners between ourselves, then therapy is a viable alternative. We should be as open minded towards this type of therapy as married couples, because the absence of marriage vows does not make our relationships any less important.