In many cultures and family settings, counseling is considered to be something for the rich or the crazy.  However, mental and emotional issues are common amongst the majority of people. Our relationship issues are no different.  Many couples refrain from attending couple’s counseling until there is an incredible disconnection or someone is just about ready to throw in the towel.

The reason many couple’s wait until the relationship is so damaged is because couples tend to struggle with identifying when to go to counseling.  Here are five indicators that it might be time for you to schedule a couples intensive or hourly sessions to help keep your relationship on track.

You Seem Stuck in a Negative Communication Pattern

If every discussion seems to turn into an argument without resolution, it’s probably time to go to a professional.  Many couples get caught in what’s called the power struggle. Disagreements are never resolved because each person wants to “win”.

 If this is going on in your relationship, a professional counselor/therapist could be helpful with teaching appropriate communication skills as well as equipping you with other relational tools.  

There is a Lack of Trust

Betrayal is one of the most present issues that lead people to seek help.  There may be a physical or emotional affair that has taken place or dishonesty with finances.  There may not have been an issue with betrayal in your current relationship, but relationships in the past may be causing a disconnect within your current relationship.  Any of these circumstances are a pretty good sign that you probably should seek some assistance with overcoming the obstacles you and your partner face with trust.

You Have a Blended Family

If you are in a blended family or in the process of becoming a blended family, you need counseling.  Many blended families have issues even if their children are adults. Every household has its own culture, and when you take two cultures and merge them, conflict is bound to happen.  

Couple’s counseling could definitely benefit the partners that are merging children, houses, schedules and pets. You may find family counseling to be most beneficial in these circumstances.  

Either Partner has Been Previously Divorced

If either partner has been divorced prior to the current relationship, it could be helpful to attend couple’s counseling for assistance to avoid falling into the previous cycle of a failed marriage.  Research shows that divorced people are more likely to get divorced a second time and marry a third time. It would be wise to learn personal relational patterns as well as your spouses. Remember, no one is perfect. However, it will likely benefit you to seek help with working on your imperfections.

One of You Have Experienced Trauma

Past trauma can make it difficult for you to experience joy in general.  Allowing yourself the opportunity to heal from emotional wounds is obviously important when romantically involved.  Depression, anxiety and post traumatic stress disorder impact how we relate to ourselves and others.

Seeking professional counseling can equip your partner to support you and walk along side you during your process. It can teach you to support your partner in their journey as well.  Mental health is just as important as physical and spiritual health. Professional counselors/therapists are trained to assist you and your partner with the process.

No matter what you are going through in your relationship, it is important to maintain appropriate connection just like we maintain and repair our cars.  Couples do not have to wait until their relationship is on its last leg to seek help. Pay attention to the five signs discussed above and reach out for guidance by a trained professional.   

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