There is a common misconception that couples counseling is only for married people or couples who fight. But in reality, all couples could greatly benefit from regular couples counseling with a great and qualified counselor. They can equip you and your partner with great resources and offer a third-party objective view of your relationship.
If you’re still in doubt as to whether couples counseling is the route for you and your partner, here are some things you can learn from going to couples counseling:
How to have healthy communication
A lot of well-meaning couples end up having bad communication with their partners because their communication models are self-centered. When having conversations, most couples reach a deadlock because of the constant blame games that go on between them. Each partner is hyper-focused on what the other could do to make the relationship work instead of what they could do to make the relationship work.
Couples counseling can change the communication from “you always…” to “I think… I feel….” Since the one thing you can always be sure of is yourself, you can have the authority to speak of it and avoid blame games and assumptions about your partner.
Conflict resolution methods
After dating for a while, the differences that exist between you begin to be more apparent and supersede your similarities. You might start questioning why you are together in the first place and in this case, it’s always a good idea to go down memory lane and remind yourself why you were attracted to each other in the first place.
It’s also important to remember that your differences can be a great way to complement each other instead of fighting each other. Couples counseling can help equip you with tools and methods for navigating conflict in relationships such as helping you listen objectively to your partner and moving away from a fight or flight mode to a less reactive way of listening.
Navigating growth and change in the relationship
People change over time and as they do, so do their relationships. Being stuck in wanting things to be the same or to be “how they used to be” is detrimental to the relationship as it does not leave room for change. You, your partner, and your relationships are dynamic and couples counseling can help navigate these scary changes. You and your partner get the opportunity to work things out and make them better in light of the changes occurring around your lives.
Understanding each other’s love language
Most times in relationships, people tend to show love to their partners in a way that they would most like to receive. Therefore, you may presume that you are showing your significant other love only to find out that they do not feel loved. According to Garry Chapman’s five love languages, we all receive love in different capacities: words of affirmation, acts of service, receiving gifts, quality time, and physical touch.
Counseling can help you understand each other’s love languages better and show them accordingly. Now you both get the opportunity to have your needs met and also meet each other’s needs.
There are many advantages to going to couples counseling. Throughout the counseling process, you can change the perspectives that have been detrimental to the relationship through respectful confrontation and working as a team to make the relationship better. Through intentional actions, you can get to the desired point of change and live in the happiness you and your partner envisioned when you first fell in love with each other.