When the Coupling is Distressed
When to seek Couples Counseling
A serious relationship or marriage is almost sure to hit some bumps or fall into some ruts along the way. Couples counseling is indicated when:
- The usual conflict resolution strategies are no longer working
- There has been a loss that is overwhelming the resilience of the couple
- A serious betrayal has shattered trust – infidelity, financial excesses by one partner, secret and habitual accessing of porn, gambling, or another practice that jeopardizes the relationship
- Addiction – alcohol, drugs, porn, gambling, food – has hurt the relationship
- Disagreements about parenting are building anger, hurt, resentment
- Extended family dynamics are creating disharmony in the coupling
- The work-life balance is out of kilter
- Sex is not satisfying one or both partners or just isn’t happening
Earlier is better
Couples counseling is likely to be more effective if the partners begin the process as soon as possible after a rupture is identified
Uncoupling with Care
Uncoupling is painful and disruptive, but it does not have to be destructive.
Counseling can help each partner move from fear, hurt, and anger to mourning the loss inherent in uncoupling. Regaining mutual respect and care for each other as a fellow human traveler can prevent the ugliness sometimes accompanying uncoupling.
When kids are involved, counseling can be instrumental in preserving the children’s sense of safety, security, and trust that they are still loved and have two supportive parents.