With divorce rates still at approximately 50% in the United States, it may come as a shock to find out that only one in four couples who are filing for divorce ever seek couples therapy or marriage counseling before splitting. Furthermore, according to sources cited by an online article on psychologytoday.com, those that do seek help first waited “an average of six years after serious problems developed before seeking marital therapy”. With divorce being understood to be one of the most stressful, even traumatic, events of one’s life, the resistance to marriage counseling is surprising. Where it is sometimes unavoidable, and even a healthier choice for some involved, divorce can end up causing emotional scars and financial problems that can be difficult to overcome. But how does a couple know when its time to seek counseling or if their problems are a simple bump in the road? If you’ve experienced the following with your spouse, on an ongoing or recurring basis, it may be time to seek the help of a marriage counselor:
- Negative communication – Any communication that damages the other would be labeled as negative. If a couple cannot communicate effectively with each other, without hurting and disregarding each other’s emotions or allowing it to elevate to abusive levels, a counselor or therapist may be able to help you find new ways to speak openly with each other again.
- Infidelity – If one or both marriage partners have been caught in, or has admitted to cheating, it can be difficult to repair and rebuild the trust that was once there. A therapist can help both partners open up and discuss what problems lead to the infidelity and help to recover from the damage it caused.
- Staying together for the children – When a couple gets to a point where they feel that they only thing keeping them together is their offspring, it is definitely time to seek counseling. A therapist can help bring down the walls built up between people, creating new bonds through communication and experiences that are unique to them.
- Not knowing what’s wrong- Often couples feel that they know that they’ve lost something between them, that something is wrong with the marriage but they don’t know where to start or how to fix it. This is a perfect time for counseling. Because both partners are willing and ready to find out what they can do to make it better, the aide of a family therapist can help couples get to the real root of their marital problems and begin to work on effective solutions.