- A “What’s The Point?” Attitude
Many couples, especially those who experience unproductive fighting, reach a point where they do not see the purpose of sharing certain material with their partner, because they know how their partner is going to react.
For example, a woman experiences stress at her job because her boss gives her too much work. When she tells her husband about how stressed she is, her husband yells at her, saying she needs to “stand up for herself.” The woman is afraid to stand up for herself because she knows her boss as a callous person who would not hesitate to fire her. Eventually, the woman stops telling her partner about her work-stress, instead saying “everything’s fine” when he asks.
People usually want to share as much of their lives as possible with their partner, but this becomes impossible when partners react in stereotyped ways. Couples counseling can help re-open the conversation around these topics and pave a new way for communication. Almost always, couples are astounded by how much the other person is keeping from them, not from any sort of deviousness or mendaciousness, but simply because they know how the other is going to react.
- A Secretive Atmosphere
Sometimes, however, couples are keeping things from each other. If you have the impression that your partner is not being honest about everything, couples counseling can help. It is a safe space where your partner may be more open to telling you things.
- Absence of a “Safe Space”
Couples counseling offers a space where you and your partner can spend 50 minutes talking to each other, without fear of being judged or punished for what you say. Is there another time and place in your life where you can do this?
A couple might also want to seek counseling if they are worried about the intensity of their fights. When two people love one another, their emotions can be dangerously powerful. Couples counseling is a safe space where only words are said—no physical actions are allowed.
If any of these signs apply to you and your relationship, it might be time to reach out to a couples therapist.