Last post, we talked about three signs that couples counseling could be right for you and your partner. Today, we’re going to continue the list
7. Change in Lifestyle
Couples are not immune to big life changes. They must weather their impact the best they can, but oftentimes, things become too overwhelming. Such events include: the death of someone close, having a baby, losing a job, moving into a new home, chronic illness, and others.
The thing about these big changes is that they occur while everything else is moving, too. A couple that used to have time after work to discuss their day-to-day stresses might find that they have precious little additional time to discuss the loss of a parent, for example. Spending an hour per week processing this can pay dividends in the present and the future.
Similarly, I often find that when couples have children, the amount of time they have together shrinks to almost zero. Setting aside 50 minutes a week to connect about the big issues in your life, and make sure that you are on the same page as parents AND as a couple, is extremely important.
8. Questions About The Future
Couples struggle with two types of questions about the future. The first is a concern about whether they are going to last. This question often arises when everything else around them is stressful, as well, meaning couples rarely devote enough time and attention to this fundamental question, leading each member to feel isolated in his or her doubt.
Doubting whether the relationship will last is completely normal. What you do with this doubt is the important thing. Giving it time and attention, especially in the presence of your partner, is paramount to both of your individual happiness—whether the happiness will be experienced together or separately.
The second type of question involves something the couple is going to do, i.e., buy a house, have children, or get married. Talking about these things before they happen is important, because once they happen, there is often no going back.
9. Infrequent or Unsatisfying Intimacy
The sexual life of a couple is a good test of their happiness, similar to how our body temperature is a good sign of our health. If you and your partner are experiencing a change in the frequency or intimacy of sex, it is possible that this is an indication of some rift in the relationship. Couples counseling can help explore this rift, of course, but it has an additional advantage, too: it shows that even sex is on the table as an acceptable (and worthwhile) topic of conversation between you and your loved one.
Please see our next and final post on this topic, where we will describe signs #7-9 for whether couples counseling could be right for you.