Who needs therapy? Part 5
Do we need couples therapy?
Most couples wait too long before seeking help with their relationship. This handicaps them because they then must work through deep hurt and resentment while simultaneously trying to shift deeply entrenched destructive patterns of relating. Starting sooner and enjoying the benefits of a more functional relationship for the rest of your days is the better choice. It may be that your relationship has passed the point of being salvageable. If this is unfortunately true, couples therapy can help the two of you to accept this and separate in time to enjoy your remaining years. Look through the questions below and make the call if find yourself answering yes.
Are you and your partner unable to discuss the challenges you face in an open, honest and productive way?
Have the two of you stopped speaking?
Do the bulk of your conversations revolve around the problems in your relationship?
Has it been some time since you last felt that you or your partner were sincerely interested in trying to understand each other?
Do either of you feel regularly criticised, judged, disregarded, insecure, shamed or the need to flee when you interact?
Have you lost respect for your partner, or do you feel disrespected by them?
Is affection or intimacy being withheld out of spite or resentment, as means of punishment or an attempt to control or hurt each other?
Do you mock or criticise your partner in your head when they are not there and have a sense that you are better than they are?
Have finances become a war zone?
Do you ask yourself, "Why can't we just have a normal, healthy relationship?"
Is it common to avoid important areas of conversation because you just know they will explode?
Do you see your partner as an adversary?
Are there secrets in your relationship?
Do you spend time fantasising about having an affair, walking close to the edge of one, or having one despite having agreed to be monogamous?
Does money get spent secretly?
Is the thought of a separation frequently enticing?
Ships in the night?
Are you telling yourself that you are staying for the children?
Have you caught yourself or your partner using your children to score points against each other?
Are you pretending things are fine, just to keep the peace?
Does sex feel all wrong, or do you wonder whether you are too old to be sexual?
Would you say that arguments are frequent, repetitive, fruitless and destructive? Have they been happening for months?
Has it been suggested to you by your partner, therapist or friends that you attend couples therapy?