You’ve noticed that you and your partner have not been communicating as well lately. That this is leading to more arguments with less resolution. Or, you’re both wanting to increase the connection you both have. But, you don’t know where to begin. As a couple, you both might have considered couples therapy. However, it made you feel ashamed that you even thought about it. You love your partner, but you’re just not sure how to get back on track.
What is Couples Therapy & Marriage Counseling?
Couples therapy is a place for you and your partner to explore the current state of your relationship with the guidance of a marriage counselor. Counseling will give you both the chance to be heard without interruption. It’s a space where you can feel safe knowing you can share all aspects of the relationship along with your thoughts and feelings- the good and the bad. It’s a place to work on and strengthen your relationship.
You can have the “Jim and Pam relationship.”
This type of therapy helps couples, whether they are married or not. It helps couples to understand each other’s perspectives, communicate better, and resolve conflicts. It can help to repair a broken relationship, prevent future relationship problems, or be a place to work on setting a healthy foundation for the connection.
This can be beneficial for couples who are struggling with communication, trust issues, emotional distance, and intimacy. Couples therapy and marriage counseling can also help to identify the root of these issues so you and your partner can address and hopefully resolve them. Counseling can also benefit couples who are going through difficult transitions such as a death of a loved one, the birth of a child, or job loss.
How is Couples Therapy Beneficial?
Couples therapy and marriage counseling is beneficial in several ways. Some benefits of couples counseling can include:
- Improved communication and conflict resolution skills
- Prevent future relationship issues
- Greater intimacy and connection
- Increased trust
- A deeper understanding of each other’s perspectives
- Greater satisfaction with the relationship
Often couples seek counseling when they are not getting along well, or have lost trust in one another. Counseling can help support the couple to repair trust, feel more secure in the relationship, and feel closer to one another. They can do this by talking through their thoughts and feelings with a couples therapist who can help facilitate open and honest communication.
You Want More from Your Partner than a “Netflix and Chill”
But, counseling isn’t just for couples who are having problems in their relationship. It can be for couples who are going through major life changes, have different styles of communicating or parenting, or want to work on strengthening their relationship. For example, if you are a couple that wants to have a stronger connection with one another. Maybe you want to have more intimacy in your relationship or go out for more date nights. You want more effort from your partner. These are all valid things that can be addressed in marriage counseling. However, one question you might be wondering is: how do you know if you need couples therapy?
What are Signs that Couples Should Consider Therapy?
Signs can vary for each couple, but here are some signs that might indicate it’s time to seek out couples therapy:
- You’re not communicating well
- Not seeing eye to eye
- Needs are going unmet
- Wanting to “open up” the marriage but feel shameful
- You want to have an increased connection
- Wanting more intimacy in your relationship
- Trust and insecurity issues
- Communication Issues
A sign that you and your partner may benefit from marriage counseling is that you are both struggling with communicating effectively. This can be you and your partner constantly arguing with no resolution. Or, you might find that you and your partner are not discussing the important things in the relationship. This can result in you and your partner not seeing eye to eye on things, or leaving each other feeling unheard and unimportant. Your marriage counselor at couples therapy can support you both to learn how to openly communicate with each other in a way that feels safe and effective for both of you.
Relearning How to Communicate
For example, your couples therapist may have you and your partner work on “I” statements. This is where you state how you feel in a way that doesn’t attack your partner. So, instead of saying “You never listen to me!” you would say “I feel unheard when we are constantly interrupted.” This is just one example of how your marriage counselor can help improve communication in your relationship.
When Needs are Not Being Met
When communication issues are present, this can often lead to unmet needs. Or, unmet needs can be present even if communication is not an issue. You and your partner can both feel like you’re giving to the relationship but your needs are still not being met. This can be one partner needing more quality time and the other needs more acts of service. It can also be that one partner needs more physical touch and the other needs more emotional intimacy. For example, you might be feeling like you are constantly giving to your partner but never receiving anything in return. This can lead to feelings of resentment and being undervalued. These needs and feelings are all valid. Going through counseling can help you both learn to attend to your partner’s needs but also how to communicate your own needs.
Feeling Shameful about What You Want
Perhaps, you’re wanting to open up about your marriage but you feel a lot of shame about this. You may be wanting to add another partner or explore different sexual activities, but you feel like you can’t talk to your partner about it. You’re afraid they might judge you or feel like you’re not satisfied with them. Opening up to them is something you want to do, but you don’t know how.
No More Shame and No More Stress
For instance, you might be polyamorous but you’ve never told your partner that you feel like polyamory is something that would work for both of you. Counseling can provide a safe space for you to explore these things with your partner without feeling shame. Your couples therapist can walk you and your partner through how to open up your relationship in a way that feels safe and good for both of you.
Wanting More Connection or Intimacy
Maybe you feel like you and your partner are stuck in a rut. Or, maybe even a routine. As in, you’re scheduling sex or date nights instead of it happening organically. You want to go on more dates with your partner. Have deep conversations like you used to. Even have them look at you like they did on your first date. You love your partner but you want to learn how you both can feel more connected to each other.
Have Fun Together Again
Maybe you’re wanting to know how to keep the spark alive or how to reignite it. You want to do all of this without it feeling like you’re performing. Or, you and your partner just want to have fun together again without it feeling like work. Counseling can support you and your partner reconnect and having fun together again. Your couples therapist will help you learn the tools you both need to feel more connected to each other.
Trust and Insecurity Issues
Trust is a huge factor in all relationships. It can be challenging to trust your partner or for them to trust you if there’s been infidelity or a major betrayal. If there is broken trust, there can be feelings of insecurity. These feelings are hard to manage on your own. For example, if your partner has cheated on you in the past, it can be difficult to trust them again even if they have been faithful since then. Or, if you’re feeling insecure in your relationship, you might constantly be checking your partner’s phone or what they’re doing. This can lead to emotional distance and further mistrust.
Building a Secure Relationship
Trust can be a difficult thing to repair on your own. Couples therapy can help you and your partner learn how to trust each other again. Your couples therapist will work to provide a safe space for both you and your partner to express your feelings. They will also help you both learn the skills you need to build a more secure relationship with each other. For instance, your marriage counselor will work on healthy boundaries such as not checking your partner’s phone without their permission or snooping through their things.
What are Other Reasons Partners Might Seek Couples Therapy?
There are many reasons why couples might seek out counseling. You might be a young adult in a relationship and you’re still trying to figure everything out. Maybe you’re polyamorous and you’re wanting to learn how to better communicate with your partners about your needs. Perhaps you’re in an open marriage and you both need support on how to navigate that. You’re an LGBTQIA+ couple that wants to learn how to navigate the heteronormative world together. Or, maybe you’re a part of the BIPOC community and you want to learn how to be in an interracial relationship.
Diversity in Our Couples Therapists
All of these reasons are valid. Counseling is a great place to address these challenges with the support and guidance of a couples and marriage counselor. At Resilient Mind Counseling, our couples therapists are real, authentic, and members of both the BIPOC and LGBTQIA+ communities. So, they understand firsthand the unique challenges that members of these communities face and help support you and your partner through these challenges so that your relationship can thrive.
What’s the End Goal of Couples Therapy?
The goal at the end of couples therapy is to help you and your partner learn how to effectively communicate with each other, understand each other’s needs, set healthy boundaries, and have a healthy and happy relationship. Marriage Counseling is investing time and effort into your relationship to make it the best it can be. Or, even uncoupling with kindness if that’s what is best for both of you.
You Deserve a Healthy Relationship
Couples therapy can be one of the most beneficial things you can do for your relationship. Our team at Resilient Mind Counseling wants you and your partner to notice all the green flags in your relationship but to have the tools to address the red flags when they come up. We want you both to be able to ask for what you need from each other so that there is no more shame or unmet needs. Marriage counseling is an investment in your relationship and we’re here to help you every step of the way.
Are You Ready to Start Couples Therapy in North Carolina?
Are you and your partner ready to reconnect? Or, ready to learn how to communicate better with each other? At Resilient Mind Counseling, we understand that every relationship is different. We will work with you and your partner to help you understand each other’s needs, create healthy boundaries, and build a healthy relationship. To get started all it takes is to follow these three steps.
- Start by scheduling a free consultation with us.
- Schedule your first couples therapy appointment with a couples therapist in North Carolina.
- Start working on creating the relationship you deserve!
Additional Services Offered by our Asheville Mental Health Therapists
Our online therapists are skilled and trained in more than just marriage counseling and couples therapy. We understand that you and your partner may have more struggles than your relationship. Our team at Resilient Mind Counseling offers anxiety treatment, depression treatment, mood, and bipolar disorder treatment. As well as neurodivergent support, BIPOC mental health resources, and LGBTQIA+ Therapy. In addition to counseling, we also offer psychiatric services. Our Asheville, NC-based office offers these services throughout North Carolina with online therapy.