Great relationships often lead to happiness, fulfillment, and support. As a result, people often seek to find romantic partners as they consider finding love to be their purpose in life. And indeed, studies show that great relationships help people live longer, develop healthier habits and deal with everyday stressors. Even more. According to a 2010 study, long-term healthy relationships reduce the risk of mortality among adults (Holt-Lunstad et al., 2010). However, maintaining a satisfying relationship isn’t easy.
It doesn’t matter how healthy and fulfilling your relationship is, every couple faces challenges at some point in their lives. The problems usually vary. You may have communication problems, you may notice that you don’t feel as intimate towards your partner as you felt before, or in the worst case, you might have trouble with infidelity. While some people find the strength to work towards a solution together, others can’t manage their challenges and worsen the situation. Therefore, sometimes receiving couples counseling is the best idea to keep your bond strong and overcome relationship issues.
Common Relationship Problems
Each couple has different relationship problems. Whether it’s miscommunication, infidelity, or sexual problems, the type of issue completely depends on the nature of the relationship. However, sometimes couples don’t understand the real reason behind their problems. They might think that their partner doesn’t love them anymore or that they can’t get along with each other. A relationship counselor can help couples identify their main problem and work towards developing adaptive coping mechanisms that will eventually lead to positive consequences (Gunlicks-Stoessel, 2009).
Infidelity and betrayal are some of the most harmful, yet very common types of relationship problems worldwide. The act of cheating usually destroys the sense of trust and drastically damages the emotional connection between partners. As studies show, sometimes cheating for a time even leads to a series of affairs (Knopp et al., 2017). Even though many people consider infidelity the end of their relationship, it’s still very important to have clear communication with your partner and find out the reasons for this adaptive behavior. Receiving professional help from relationship counselors might help to save the relationship, overcome problems and rebuild trust with your partner.
When partners feel that they experience distress while being around each other, they no longer satisfy one another and often have conflicts, which might lead them to the decision to separate or divorce. However, sometimes counselors might help to save the relationship and help the couple consider other options before they make the final decision to separate. Even though all relationships can’t continue and sometimes it’s better for both partners to end their relationship, getting a bit closer and discussing the reasons for separating is important to maintaining a healthy relationship even after the breakup.
Besides, since divorce is accompanied by plenty of lifestyle changes, people often experience pain and stress after a breakup and find it hard to adapt to their new lifestyle without their partner. A relationship counselor helps the client to determine their life path in advance in order to avoid negative consequences after a divorce or separation.
As the tendency of globalization continues, the number of cross-cultural relationships today is rapidly growing. People from different cultures usually have specific backgrounds, traditions, and values. Even though different cultural norms aren’t a problem when it comes to falling in love, maintaining stable and long-term cross-cultural relationships isn’t always easy.
In order to avoid trouble, couples from different cultural backgrounds need to deeply understand each other’s beliefs, norms, and values. Despite the fact that miscommunication and problems between cross-cultural couples are very common, counselors can help them to better understand each other’s value systems and strengthen their emotional connections.
Although the word “intimacy” is often associated with “sexuality,” it’s much more than just sexual closeness. In fact, intimacy involves not only physical aspects, but also emotional, mental, and social aspects as well. Intimacy usually develops throughout the relationship and helps partners feel closer to one another.
Therefore, it’s a great part of psychological and subjective well-being. Considering this, a lot of couples consider losing intimacy as the end of their relationship. However, relationship therapists can help the partners deal with the loss of intimacy with each other and develop healthy communication skills in order to restore their past physical and emotional bonds.
Good communication is the key to having happy and fulfilling relationships. Adaptive communication skills allow couples to speak openly and directly, discuss their concerns and needs, and explain what they are experiencing. As a result, communication helps partners get closer to each other, maintain intimacy, and solve relationship problems.
Therefore, the main purpose of relationship counselors is to help couples develop healthy communication skills in order to be able to overcome their relationship troubles in the future. But if couples experience miscommunication, it’s highly likely that they will have problems understanding each other’s needs and viewpoints, which might harm the relationship.
Having a satisfying sex life is one of the most important factors in maintaining a relationship. As studies show, couples that experience sexual intimacy, maintain their marriages for a longer time. But if people feel that their sexual energy isn’t compatible with their partners’, their intimacy may be reduced and damage the relationship. Often, sexual troubles are caused by busy work schedules or other external factors.
Also, sometimes sexual troubles happen as a result of sexual dysfunction as well. Since couples often find it hard to determine the exact reason for their sexual problems, they often reach out to professional therapists in order to identify the source of their problem and work towards achieving a well-balanced relationship.
What is Couples’ Counseling?
Couples counseling or relationship therapy is one of the most common and effective treatments for mental health problems caused by relationship problems. Couples counseling focuses on conflicts between romantic partners and helps them overcome these issues. The main purpose of couples counseling is to help couples develop adaptive coping and communication skills in order to avoid further problems. Depending on the problem and the partners’ desire to take part in the therapy sessions, relationship counseling can be received either individually or mutually. The latest research proves that couples therapy reduces distress in relationships. Also, it’s effective for reducing the symptoms of mental health disorders such as depression or anxiety.
When Do You Need Relationship Therapy?
If you notice that your relationship isn’t as strong as it used to be, if you have trouble expressing your feelings or identifying your partner’s needs, or just want to have a stronger relationship, then you might think about getting relationship therapy at Health for Life Counseling in Grand Rapids, MI. Although people believe that we should seek counseling only when we’re unable to overcome problems in relationships, it’s actually better to receive help as soon as the problem starts. That way, you might avoid worsening your issues, losing intimacy, and damaging your relationship.