Is Couples Counseling Right For Us?
Arguing is a natural consequence of intimacy.
When you’re invested in a relationship, even minor annoyances—like the absolute betrayal of your partner watching your favorite Netflix show without you—become more impactful.
Regardless of how you may rate the quality of your connection, all couples—even the very best—are likely to argue about some of the following issues during the course of their relationship. Couples counseling is designed to help couples address these tricky issues thoughtfully and honestly, without escalating into a war of words:
Topics That Couples Fight About & How Couples Counseling Can Help
- Communication Styles: how to express frustration effectively, when you just can’t even… or how to break out of a cycle of poor communication when your every interaction with your partner spirals into a disagreement
- Sexual Intimacy Issues: what to do when the frequency (or rather, infrequency) of sex becomes a touchy subject; how to combat performance anxiety, low sexual arousal, or barriers to communicating your sexual desires to your partner
- Financial Disagreements: does your partner spend impulsively or pinch pennies? how to reconnect when you’re drowning in debt, you’ve just lost your job, or one partner contributes unevenly to household finances
- Conflicting Worldviews & Backgrounds: how to find an argument-free space when your political or religious views diverge, or when you’re dating someone from a different socioeconomic, ethnic, or cultural background
- Interracial Couples: understanding how your partner’s cultural background influences expectations of relationship roles and parenting styles; how to handle disapproving parents, friends, or the judgment of strangers; how to discuss race or discrimination with your kids
- LGBTQ Couples: what to do when you and your partner have varying levels of openness regarding your sexualities; how to navigate interactions with family members who reject your relationship; how to discuss starting a family when your views conflict about whether/how LGBTQ couples should raise children
- Contradictory Parenting Styles: reaching common ground when one parent views the other as “too strict” vs. “too permissive” or as overly involved in the kids’ lives vs. absent; carving out time for your romantic life while still devoting the very best of yourself to your kids
- In-laws & Extended Family: how to broach that yearly volatile conversation about where to spend the holidays; striking a balance between spending quality time with your parents vs. neglecting your partner; resolving tension when your partner and your parents don’t see eye to eye
- Division of Time & Labor: deciding how to spend your free time when watching sports literally seems like torture; learning how to reconcile career ambitions with family life; ensuring that each partner contributes fairly to household responsibilities and raising the kiddos
How Can Couples Therapy Help My Relationship?
Although romantic couples have zero shortages when it comes to tricky subjects to navigate—fortunately—most relationship problems are repairable. It’s even possible to recover after a significantly more complex challenge, such as grieving the loss of a child, a partner’s act of infidelity, or a partner’s struggle with addiction, mental health issues, or a chronic illness.
Couples counseling can improve the quality of your relationship by:
- Encouraging partners to articulate their expectations for the relationship in a neutral environment without the conversation degenerating into a screaming match
- Equipping couples with strategies to improve their communication and resolve conflict healthily
- Enhancing physical and emotional intimacy, and renewing your commitment to bettering the relationship
- Addressing delicate issues separately and together (for instance, assisting a member of the relationship to examine how a past history of substance abuse or sexual trauma has affected the relationship)
- Understanding how culture, religion, ethnicity, and sexuality shape worldviews and concepts about relationship and parenting roles
- Assisting couples to part amicably when personal differences can’t be resolved