Remember how it felt on your wedding day? The anticipation and excitement? Unfortunately, over 50% of marriages in this country end in divorce. Second marriages have a higher likelihood of failure. We “tie the knot” only to discover life has its own way of adding knots and bringing us to “the end” of our ropes. There is good news: couples counseling can improve your relationship and communication, and maybe get you back on the road to a happier future.
If you are seriously concerned about your relationship and wonder if it needs help, chances are it does. Research has shown that couples often wait many years after they first notice problems before seeking couples counseling. This makes couples counseling less likely to be effective, and it can take longer. Long-term resentment can sabotage couples counseling because the desire to have your relationship work is a key to success. So the earlier you make a decision to seek couples counseling the better.
Although couples are unique, few problems are new to couples counselors. Sexual issues, money problems, addictions, children and parenting issues, religion differences, in-law difficulties, and communication issues are common struggles. Infidelity and cheating, jealousy, balancing work and home, differences in goals and values, and concerns about compatibility all bring couples into counseling. Unaddressed, these issues often lead to significant conflict.
Couples with children also have to consider how their marital problems affect their children. In his book, Raising an Emotionally Intelligent Child, Dr. John Gottman describes his research showing that marital conflict:
1. gets in the way of the child’s ability to form healthy relationships;
2. negatively affects the child’s schoolwork; and
3. increases the child’s susceptibility to illnesses.
Parents who learn to effectively resolve conflict reduce anxiety in the family system and teach their kids tools to enjoy healthy relationships. Whether you have children or not, it is important to resolve any marital problems as soon as possible after they begin. Family Resources has licensed marriage and family therapists and mental health practitioners with skill and experience in working with couples.