Do We Really Need Couples Counseling?
Couples counseling can save and strengthen your relationship. That is if the couple does not wait too long to seek help. It may be because they assume therapy is only for individuals who suffer from mental health issues, or in the context of couples counseling, it may be seen as a last-ditch effort to save a totally broken relationship.
Fortunately, that mentality and mindset are shifting and couples counseling and therapy are becoming much more acceptable and even something to brag about. With so many famous couples turning to and benefiting from couples counseling, it's no wonder its popularity is rising.
So, if you've considered speaking with a third party for relationship advice, here's another reason to see a couple's counselor right away, it works. Even if you haven’t talked to your partner about couples counseling, but think it might help your relationship, it can be a good idea to seek a consultation.
Consider seeking couples counseling in Omaha if…
You’re about to get married or go through another big life change
Even if you’ve been in a relationship with someone for a long time, getting married can still feel like a major commitment and life change. Premarital counseling helps couples start married life off on the right foot before their big day. Before tying the knot, is the best time to set boundaries, express, and hear each other's expectations for the relationship.
A new marriage isn’t the only major life change worthy of discussion. Another situation I see often is the formation of stepfamilies. blending and merging two or more families is a big shift for everyone and, as individuals, every family member will deal with those changes differently. Couples counseling can help you discuss your new living arrangements, ways to build mutual trust, generate respect between stepfamily members, and learn about differences in the ways of co-parenting.
You address the same patterns or contentions over and over again
The root of the problem needs to be explored if you and your partner revisit the same arguments again and again. Very often, couples aren't aware of the problem until it's brought up by their partner or a third party. If you want to identify and address the problems you and your spouse wrestle with constantly, then couples counseling can help.
You fight constantly without resolution
Believe it or not, there is a healthy way to “fight.” Remember, it’s natural to disagree in a relationship. After all, you are two unique individuals. But if your disagreements consistently devolve into unproductive fights, you may want to look for support. Come to couples counseling with Aaron Jarrels in Omaha to learn how to communicate your needs, listen, and respond respectfully to one another. Even when you think you might get mad. These skills will help you resolve conflict -without the relationship-damaging resentment and anger.
Your partner wants to go to counseling
If your partner has already asked you to go to counseling, you should address their request. Keep in mind, it takes courage to seek help. The fact that they asked you, shows they’re interested in working things out. Consider this, whether you believe you need counseling or not, they believe it is important for you both as a couple. If you believe the relationship still has value, it is important to respect their request and commitment. Give it a try.
You think about having (or had) an affair
If you’re even considering an affair while in a monogamous relationship, then something is off. And, if you’ve been involved in an affair already, there are definitely reasons to talk about it. Infidelity is deeply traumatizing for the mistreated party. If you are considering unloading this information onto your partner, talk to me first. You may have betrayed your partner and yourself, but it does not mean your relationship is over.
If you just learned that your spouse was unfaithful, come and get a trained set of eyes on the situation before you make any uneducated decisions. I cannot promise that I can keep you both together, or guarantee to separate you both, but I absolutely can help you both accomplish your mutual goals, whatever they happen to be.
You and your partner are not sexually aligned
It is becoming widely understood in academic circles that individuals experience sex differently. But couples are just discovering this fact. Everything from an individual’s desire to the expected frequency, beliefs, and approaches to sex vary significantly. In any relationship, these variations can cause confusion, contention, frustration, and a communication breakdown. Coming to couples therapy together to talk about sex can be incredibly rewarding for your intimacy, sex life, and relationship!
You’re considering separation or divorce
Every couple considering separation or divorce should talk to an objective and trained couple’s counselor. This is because a therapist can help you decide the next best step for your relationship. In therapy, we call this discernment counseling. Discernment counseling is a short series of counseling sessions that guide you and your partner through focused conversations and exercises that help you both decide whether or not you want to stay together and work on your relationship or call it quits for good.
You feel like your partner never empathizes with you
Do you ever feel like your partner isn’t truly listening to you? Do they accuse you of not hearing or understanding them? Then the two of you are not communicating your needs well. The communication skills you learn at couples counseling—like empathy, active listening, and conflict resolution—can significantly improve your relationship in both the short and long term. Find out how what you didn't know was in fact hurting you and your spouse.
You simply want a strong, long-lasting healthy relationship
Couples counseling is not just for troubled relationships! Find out what you are doing right and get better at it. It also provides couples the skills to build stronger, healthier, more supportive relationships. Learn what you need to know to feel satisfied with your marriage and happily grow old together.
What Does it Mean to be “a Couple”?
At first, the answer to this question seems obvious. But, in reality, the answer is far more complex and incredibly important that you explore it with your partner. To do this you might want to ask yourself and your partner some follow-up questions:
- Do you have the same definition of being “a couple”?
- Do you have the same expectations for one another in your partnership?
- Do you even have the same ground rules or expectations of what it means to be in a relationship?
If you answered “no” or “I don’t know” to any of these questions, then there is likely a misalignment in your relationship. That’s where couples counseling can help. By building communication skills as well as using your couple's counselor as an objective listener, you will learn how to better understand one another's expectations. It is possible to get to the root of contention and challenges in a relationship.
Unfortunately, just being in love doesn’t mean you both have the same expectations. You both may not even be clear about what it takes to build a strong, healthy, and long-lasting relationship. That’s why asking each other this question is so important. Your counselor will help you navigate challenging conversations and build up the skills you need to work together both inside and outside the therapist’s office.
What’s the Difference Between Couple’s Counseling and Marriage Counseling?
Although couples counseling and marriage counseling may sound like the same thing (and there are a lot of similarities), you may find that couples counseling and marriage counseling have slightly different focuses and goals. In general, couples who are not married seek couples counseling and I reserve the term marriage counseling for couples who are or believe they are married. Your couple’s counselor will work with you to understand the challenges you face and come up with the right plan to address them.
What is Discernment Counseling?
Discernment Counseling is specifically designed to assist couples who are uncertain about the future and the trajectory of their relationship. It caters to those who may experience a mix of emotions and contemplate whether they should stay together despite their doubts. In many instances, one partner may desire a divorce while the other wishes to salvage the relationship.
Irrespective of the circumstances, this process is often painful and marked by disagreements. Discernment Counseling offers couples an opportunity to reflect upon and carefully consider the best course of action for their family, without any external pressure. The presence of an impartial and supportive therapist provides a secure environment where they can evaluate their options.
With just four to six counseling sessions, couples can reach a productive, respectful, and sincere position within their relationship. This outcome may lead to an amicable divorce if separation is deemed the best path, or it may grant them a second chance to rebuild their life together.
Regardless of the eventual outcome, the majority of my clients feel a sense of confidence in their final decision and experience relief knowing that they thoroughly examined every aspect before determining their direction.
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- Learn how sex therapy can improve your relationship
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More Resources for You and Your Partner
In our efforts to bring value to your life, or if you are not in the Omaha area, I have developed a series of worksheets to help you effectively improve your relationship. Dive into the series and discover how these resources can benefit you and your partner.
Remember: Change Your Mind and Transform Your Life™