You fight. A lot. Every little thing seems to escalate into an epic yelling contest; or perhaps you simply go passive-aggressive and have been giving him the silent treatment ever since. Scenarios like these can leave you feeling like your marriage is on its last legs, but it doesn't have to be. Oftentimes, all you need is a little professional help to turn your relationship around 180 degrees.
Couple therapy is an ideal opportunity to tackle relationship issues with a trained professional who can get to the bottom of what's causing the problems -- it's not always as obvious as you might think -- and work with you to reconcile them.
Signs you need couple therapy
Couples go to therapists for advice for a wide range of reasons, says Dr Sheri Jacobson, a London-based psychotherapist for Harley Therapy
, but there are four common problems that can benefit most from couple therapy or counseling:
1. You're always fighting (and it's ugly)
Every couple fights now and again, but if you're constantly picking faults with each other and getting into angry spats, "this is a common characteristic of a dissatisfied relationship," says Jacobson. If you can't seem to get a point across without yelling, this is where counseling can help. The therapist will act like a neutral player to ensure each side gets a chance to speak without judgement; you'll also learn skills to communicate effectively and deal with conflicts amicably.
2. You don't talk to each other anymore
Resentment sometimes rears its ugly head in the form of silent treatment aka giving your partner the cold shoulder as a weapon to get even. Unfortunately, it's a recipe for disaster, because communication is key to a successful relationship, says Jacobson. If you don't talk it out, nothing gets resolved and you'll just drift further and further apart. Counseling can offer an environment in which you can open up about your feelings, work out a compromise together and re-build the intimacy.
3. You can't trust him
Trust is the basic foundation of a relationship, and when it's lacking, jealousy and suspicion can drive a wedge between couples. But such a relationship isn't automatically doomed, and couple therapy can be very helpful, says Jacobson. A marriage counselor or therapist will take on the role of an unbiased party to explore any underlying issues with you -- whether it's related to specific behavior (either his or yours) or unwarranted insecurity -- and offer constructive advice.
4. You can't let go of your grudge
Refusing to forgive your partner for something he's done can create a lot of bitterness for you, warns Jacobson, and communication and your sex life often suffer as a result. Seeing a counselor together can help you understand why it's so difficult to let go and work it through as a couple. Learning to forgive
is a vital process to let your hurt -- and your relationship -- heal.