No relationship is immune from having a few bumps in the road. That said, how do you know when your issues haven gotten to the point that a professional third party should step in? According to experts, there are a few signs you might need couple's therapy, and they're a lot more common than you might have thought.
It's worth mentioning that therapy shouldn't be seen as something that's only for those who are seriously struggling. Rather, it can be a helpful tool for checking in on yourself and your relationships before you run into bigger problems. Often times both individuals and couples are so used to expressing themselves in a certain way that they're not even sure how else to communicate. And when that barrier breaks down it can be seriously damaging.
However, you don't need to be on the verge of breaking up to start seeking therapy with (or without) your partner. By finding the right therapist and trying some communication-strengthening exercises, you can enforce your bond as well as get what you both need from each other — instead of slipping into the same argument over and over. Wondering if therapy is just the thing you and your mate could use for a healthier, better functioning relationship? Read ahead for three telltale signs the two of you should try it, from Rachel Thomasian, a licensed marriage and family therapist at Playa Vista Counseling.
You Keep Having The Same Fight
The relationship expert shares that if the same issue keeps popping up over and over again, it might be time to get a professional involved. "It means you have a need that's not being met and you've established a pattern that you can't seem to break," she says. Simply put, your partner probably just isn't hearing you and vice versa. But thankfully, couples therapists can help you get to the real root of these arguments, which may stop the cycle.
You Stopped Having Fun Together
Of course there are inevitable ebbs and flows — and even the healthiest relationships aren't having fun all the time. But according to Thomasian, if the good times (including the ones you have in the bedroom) seem to be getting fewer and further in between, checking in with a therapist might be just what you need. "When your relationship is lacking in any one of these key areas of trust, communication, intimacy, connection, or fun, it's helpful to have a neutral space to talk about your needs and how you can grow in the area that's become a problem," she says.
You're Going Through A Major Transition
Even happy couples run into external circumstances that can take an unexpected toll on their relationship, like a move, the death of a loved one, or even just a new job. "In my experience, couples really benefit from seeking counseling when they're about to go through a big transition, like moving in together, getting engaged or married, or having a baby," explained Thomasian. "There are often many fears and unknown elements of how these big changes will effect the relationship and it's helpful to be on the same page — a therapist can really help you get there."