A healthy marriage provides numerous emotional and tangible benefits. No marriage is perfect every moment, of course, but a strong marriage can withstand difficult times, as long as both parties remain committed to their partner and to the relationship. But sometimes, just loving each other is not enough to survive the challenges life throws at you. Fortunately, professional marriage therapists are trained in helping couples overcome obstacles, strengthen communication, and restore trust and faith. Not every couple needs marriage therapy, but here are seven reasons you might.
Any two people who spend significant time together, live together, and maybe raise families together are going to have some conflict here and there. Some fighting is to be expected in a marriage, but respect is crucial even when you disagree. If you find that you’re fighting more frequently than usual, or if the fights are becoming disrespectful or mean, it may be time to seek marriage therapy before irreparable damage is done.
- Little to no communication
One of the perks of marriage is the ability to be in the company of someone you love without having to say a word. But not all silence is created equal. If you and your spouse have grown so far apart that you have nothing to say to each other or you’re using silence to punish one another, marriage therapy may be just what you need to establish healthy communication and renew your interest in one another.
Any lying or secrecy within a relationship is a sign that something needs to be addressed. Whether one person is lying about how much money they’re spending or the other is visiting strip clubs on the sly, lies and secrecy can eat away at the foundation of a relationship. You may not know exactly why you’re afraid to communicate honestly with your partner, but if one or both of you are lying, there may be something else at play. Marriage therapy can be a safe place to explore the possible reasons for the lies or secrecy and to establish further trust so you can communicate honestly with one another.
Intimacy is an essential component of a healthy marriage. Sexual intimacy plays an important role in keeping a marriage strong, but there are many other ways to be intimate as well. Intimate communication is the ability to talk about sensitive subjects. Physical intimacy can involve a simple back rub or holding hands. The emotional intimacy of just spending quiet time together also nurtures your bond. If your relationship is lacking in comfortable everyday intimacy, it may feel more like a business partnership than a love relationship. A marriage therapist may be able to help you find ways to restore the intimacy and strengthen your marriage.
When one partner strays or betrays the other in some way, the broken faith and trust can become very difficult to come back from without help. In marriage, forgiving small transgressions can happen daily. But with bigger issues, even though we may want to move on and put the past behind us, resentment can fester if the trauma of betrayal is not addressed in a healthy way. Marriage therapy can help both parties understand the other’s point of view, repair broken trust, renew the commitment to move forward together.
Although we may like to believe that “money is just money,” it rarely is. Most people have an emotional relationship with money, whether they know it or not. One person may have fears of the future that keeps them from spending spontaneously while another person has insecurities that makes them spend frivolously. During times of financial stress, subconscious emotions around money can surface and cause a strain in the relationship. It is possible for two people with different spending habits to have a strong healthy marriage, but sometimes, it may require marriage therapy to help keep them on the same page during difficult times.
When one or both spouses suffer from mental health issues, such as addiction, anxiety, or schizophrenia, it can take a toll on the marriage. Learning how to navigate life together through mental health issues can be particularly tricky, especially in love relationships. We all want our partners to feel good and to be happy, and it’s easy to take it personally when they don’t. Mental health conditions are not personal in nature, but the stresses involved can become personal, and outside help may be needed to help both partners feel comfortable and understood. For marriage therapy to be effective in a relationship where one or both partners have mental health issues, it’s best to seek out a therapist who has experience treating couples as well as patients with mental health conditions.
Of course, you don’t need to wait to see a marriage therapist until you have one of the above issues in your marriage. Sometimes, you know something is wrong but you just don’t know what it is. Marriage therapy can help.
Looking for a licensed marriage therapist? Call Pacific Health Systems today.
At Pacific Health Systems, we offer a wide range of psychotherapy services in San Diego, including marriage and family therapy. Our skilled and compassionate practitioners will provide you with highly individualized care tailored to your specific needs. We’re committed to helping you thrive in your life and relationships. Give us a call at (619) 267-9257 to schedule an appointment today.