When you’re in a relationship, it’s normal to have disagreements and fights every once in a while. For instance, most couples fight over things like money and sex, as well as parenting.
Making things work can be tough at times, but it doesn’t mean it’s impossible. With a little extra effort, you can turn these conflicts around and instead, make your relationship even stronger.
One way you can do so is by going to couple counseling. This gives you a safe space where you can discuss any concerns with a neutral third party.
Are you interested in hearing more? Then read on. In this article, we’ll give you the top things to know before you go to therapy for relationships.
1. You Need to Be Honest
It may be tempting to try and paint yourself in a better light, especially since your gut reaction is to maintain as much pride as possible in front of a stranger.
But if you’re not honest with your therapist, you won’t get anywhere. Both you and your partner need to be truthful about what’s going on to make the best progress possible.
Keep in mind that your counselor isn’t there to judge you at all. So while it may be hard discussing some issues, honesty is the best policy.
2. It’ll Probably Be Uncomfortable
We’re not going to lie; most likely, counseling won’t feel pleasant at times. This is because you’ll probably have to face uncomfortable truths.
However, the more open you are, and the more you accept these uncomfortable moments, the better the outcome. If you can take these learning moments and grow as a person, then your relationship will also grow and thrive.
3. You Need to Listen Actively
Yes, couples counseling gives you a safe space to voice your thoughts. But this doesn’t mean you should ramble on and not give any thought to what anyone else has to say.
In counseling, not only do you need to listen to the therapist, but also, your significant other. After all, this is couples therapy, not individual therapy.
Once you’ve had your turn, be conscious about giving others the floor while you actively listen to what they have to say. When you’re mindful about listening, you’ll be surprised at the things you pick up.
4. It’s Not a Quick Fix
Some couples go into counseling with the thought that a few sessions will patch up the issues they have. But the truth is, couples counseling is a long-term thing. In fact, for some, it’ll be an ongoing thing.
Human beings are incredibly complex, and when you put two of them together, there’s bound to be conflicts. Even if you feel like everything is perfect after a few sessions, problems can quickly arise again.
This is why it’s important that you keep going to counseling. Sometimes, you might feel as if the problem is resolved, but really, it’s just festering on the side.
It’ll take time for you to properly resolve the issue and learn lifelong skills for handling conflict in the future.
5. You Need to Put Effort In
For some, they believe that the counselor will do all the work for you and that they’ll walk out with everything fixed. However, they’re only there to provide guidance, not to wave a wand and make everything perfect again.
You can go to multiple counseling sessions and learn valuable skills. But you’ll still have a tough relationship if you don’t actually apply these lessons.
Again, therapists are only there to provide insight. It’s up to you and your partner to put in the effort to strengthen your relationship.
6. It Won’t Fix Everything
Sadly, not every couple is destined to last. If you’re so different and your conflicts are serious enough, counseling may not be enough to salvage the relationship.
There comes a point where you have to accept that despite all your efforts, maybe you’re not the best match. And it’s ok to come to that conclusion, especially if you both feel like you’ve done everything possible to make it work.
While it may be painful, a breakup may be just what you need to turn your life around and start a newer and happier chapter.
7. Premarital Counseling Is Highly Beneficial
Maybe you have practically no issues with your significant other and you feel like they’re your soulmate. The obvious next step is to get married to them and spend the rest of your life together.
But marriage is a whole other ballgame, especially when you’ve never cohabitated before. You’ll probably also combine your finances, which may bring up a whole bunch of problems you’ve never had to deal with before.
This is why premarital counseling may be highly beneficial. A counselor can walk you through the things couples fight over the most and ensure you’re both on the same page before going through with a lifelong commitment. They can also give you some constructive ways to get through rough patches.
Couple Counseling Can Be Great for You
As you can see, no matter where you are in the relationship and how long you’ve been together, couple counseling can always be a good thing. By attending these sessions, you’ll show that you love and care about one another, and want to improve things.
Considering it’s not just for people who are in bad situations, making an appointment for couples therapy can only facilitate a better future. So try out a session or two; you might be pleasantly surprised at what counseling can do for you.
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