Even happily married couples can hit obstacles along the way. When this happens, couples have two options. They can either try to work through their issues themselves, or they can seek the guidance of a trained and experienced marriage counselor. While some couples feel their problems should be kept private, many are finding the value of seeking help from an impartial and nonjudgmental third party.
Here are 3 ways individual counseling can help your marriage.
Identifying Behavioral Patterns
Most of us are aware of our partner’s behaviors but unaware of our own. And, many communication challenges are the result of the patterns between spouses. When you only see half of the dysfunctional patterns, the problems in the marriage may seem confusing and overwhelming.
A therapist’s expertise is in helping both individuals recognize their own negative patterns. These patterns sometimes manifest in unexpected ways. The result of recognizing patterns is both partners feel empowerment to take a step back during conflicts, preventing escalation. As a bonus, therapists can also point out the strengths found in your relationship so you can learn how to nourish them.
Change at the Root Level
Once your therapist has helped you identify negative patterns, he or she can then help you understand why they are happening and assist you in changing them. Most behavioral patterns are formed and ingrained when we are very young – before we’ve become self-aware and before we meet our significant others. These patterns may be invisible to us, but glaring to our partners. Noticing the signs in both ourselves and our partners allows us to escape the patterns we’ve created.
Understanding why your partner reacts a certain way can create empathy and open doors to communication. Once you’ve laid this solid foundation, your therapist can give you specific adjustments that can change your relationship for better.
A therapist will not only tailor changes based on your unique dynamics as a couple, he or she will help you practice the adjustments and encourage you to remain vigilant and consistent. The result is a deeper intimacy and a deeper understanding of each other with a renewed commitment to meet each other’s needs and desires.
While you may first feel hesitant discussing marital problems in front of a stranger, ultimately a marriage counselor can bring you both to a more fulfilling phase of your partnership.
Many couples find it beneficial to begin counseling as individuals and come together after having time to work on themselves. It it important to remember that making yourself stronger only benefits the relationship. Changing your marriage may not be easy, but it is certainly worthwhile. If you or a loved one would like to explore treatment, please contact Mind Spa today. We would be happy to speak with you about how we can help your marriage thrive.