A Couple's Guide To Knowing When Is The Right Time For Therapy
Published on 1st December, 2022
The idea of seeking couples counselling or couple therapy in Singapore may seem drastic as some may have reservations about therapy due to conservative beliefs about wanting to “'avoid humiliation” or not wanting to air out their partner's dirty laundry. Still, it can be very healthy for people in relationships to attend couples therapy or counselling. When a couple shows this extent of commitment and intention, it indicates they are serious about improving their relationship.
Most experts consider therapy to be an essential part of any relationship. Couples should seek therapy long before they feel like they "need" it. It is normal for a partner in a relationship to feel disconnected or unhappy or that their needs for intimacy are not met by their significant other. When the emotional needs of either party in a couple are not met, one might feel unheard, unimportant to the other person, and essentially unloved (Grande, 2020).
This article explores some common signs couples can look out for in their relationship that may help prompt you and your partner to consider therapy.
Difference in communication
Every healthy relationship relies on communication. Communication between partners is vital to supporting each other. Without communication, it can be challenging for couples to find the middle ground. Communication between couples involves interpersonal skills such as listening and empathising with one another, ensuring that the other party feels their concerns are being understood.
Couples may avoid conversations altogether when arguments are blown out of proportion. Communication breakdowns can result from something as minor as little habits. An experienced therapist can clear up any misunderstandings and guide a conversation in a healthy direction during a couple's counselling session.
Arguments are not being solved
Arguments can be difficult to settle once it escalates to the point where both parties cannot move on. There may be times when you and your partner have the same argument over and over without ever resolving it. Arguments may leave you or your partner feeling deeply hurt or misunderstood. Any relationship will experience conflict at some point. Couples must know how to argue effectively to resolve conflict and move forward. Focus on the core issue that needs to be worked through towards a compromise or concession rather than the emotional content of the other person's argument, including personal insults or attacks (Grohol, 2016).
You Have Faced Changes Together
Relationship dynamics can be significantly altered by major setbacks, challenges, or improvements in life. Couples' bonds can be threatened by significant life changes, such as financial issues, health crises, and family issues within each other's families. Relationship dynamics can also be altered by something typically seen as positive such as the arrival of a newborn or a career opportunity or promotion in one of the partner’s careers. Through changing times and altered dynamics, couples can benefit from counselling to help adjust to new changes together.
Trust is wavering
Many different reasons can lead to the breakdown of trust. Perhaps one partner has committed infidelity, or perhaps you both struggle with being honest with one another. Regardless of the cause, relationships can feel unfulfilled and damaged when trust is broken. Trust issues could stem from various life experiences, including parental influence on conflict management, past betrayal in a relationship, parental conflicts where children witness distrust within their family, and overall negative life experiences from people who have experienced trauma while growing up (Cherry, 2022). By working with a couples therapist, partners can gain a deeper understanding of why they lack trust, find the root cause of their distrust and figure out how that trust can be effectively re-established.
Arguing over finances
Finances and problems managing money within a household are common reasons for ending marriages and couples breaking up. Couples who disagree on funds or find it challenging to bring up such a ‘touchy’ topic will likely have significant arguments throughout their relationship. If a partner is dishonest about financial information, such as credit card statements, purchases, and hidden receipts, they may breach the other person's trust. If this occurs, it is recommended to seek counselling for couples as soon as possible to resolve financial arguments.
There are many different reasons for couples to seek therapy. Seeking therapy is a step in the right direction for improving relationships and figuring out what might cause conflict between a couple. Couples should not feel afraid to seek help but rather embrace it to work on a healthy relationship.
Getting in touch with a couple’s therapist or psychotherapy services is helpful for any individual looking to improve their mental well-being. Whether you’re working on your mental health or looking to improve your relationship, seeking advice is always a good start.
Grande, D. (2020). 10 Emotional Needs of Couples. Psychology Today. https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/in-it-together/202002/10-emotional-needs-couples
Grohol, J. (2016). 6 Tips for De-Escalating an Argument. PsychCentral. https://psychcentral.com/blog/6-tips-for-de-escalating-an-argument#1
Cherry, K. (2022). Why You May Have Trust Issues and How to Overcome Them. Verywell Mind. https://www.verywellmind.com/why-you-may-have-trust-issues-and-how-to-overcome-them-5215390