Have you been experiencing difficulties in your romantic relationship recently?
Maybe you feel emotionally detached from your partner or can’t communicate with them anymore without conflict. Whatever the reason, you should know that at some point in their relationships, every couple experiences problems. Even when you think that you can get along perfectly well with your partner, sometimes it’s hard to deal with everyday issues on your own.
If you notice that problems between you and your partner are getting more and more intense and you can’t find ways to overcome them, then you should keep reading this article about relationship counseling.
Let’s find out what the most common problems are in romantic relationships, how counseling can help, and when to seek professional help from relationship counselors.
Most Common Romantic Relationship Problems
Every couple is unique. And yet, every couple has a unique romantic relationship with one another. This means that things that you and your partner perceive as problematic might be natural for someone else, and vice versa. Still, there are certain types of problems during which couples often require professional help from relationship counselors.
Here are the most common problems in romantic relationships:
- Communication problems – Poor communication between partners might lead to frequent arguments and conflicts. This, in turn, damages the emotional bond between partners and enhances negative feelings and controversy. But relationship counseling can help you develop efficient communication strategies and understand each other better.
- Lost intimacy – If you feel like you and your partner don’t attract each other as much as you used to or you aren’t very close to each other anymore, the problem might be lost intimacy. However, intimacy is an integral part of healthy romantic relationships. That’s why you need to work on your intimacy issues to reconnect with your partner.
- Trust issues – According to a 2020 study, lack of trust often leads to romantic relationship problems (Arikewuyo et al., 2020). The reason is that trust is crucial to having a strong bond with your partner. And when partners trust each other, the chances of issues arising over infidelity or cheating are low. However, if you experienced betrayal in your relationship, receiving counseling might be a good idea because infidelity destroys the sense of trust between partners.
- Sexual problems – Sexual satisfaction is directly related to fulfillment in the relationship. This means that if one of the partners feels unattractive or undesirable, or if the partners can’t get along sexually, chances are that this problem will negatively affect the course of the relationship. Relationship counselors help couples overcome decreased sex drive and deal with other types of sexual problems.
- Emotional distance – Whenever partners feel emotionally detached from each other, it becomes harder and harder to take care of each other’s emotional needs. As a result, they feel alone, intimacy between them decreases, and they can’t understand each other anymore. In this case, counseling might help couples get closer to each other and repair their emotional bond.
- Significant life events – If you’ve just had a baby, lost a loved one, gotten married, changed careers, or experienced a traumatic event, the communication patterns between you and your partner are likely to change. The reason is that significant life events usually affect relationships, leading to various types of problems. Still, counseling can help you sort things out and develop healthy coping skills for these changes.
What is Relationship Counseling?
Relationship counseling, or couples counseling, is a type of psychotherapy focused on exploring and overcoming issues in romantic relationships. According to the American Psychological Association, it can be defined as therapy about “problems within and between the individuals that affect the relationship.” Indeed, during relationship counseling, couples and counselors don’t only work on the specific issues between partners but identify other reasons too that might be affecting the relationship.
Receiving counseling for romantic relationship problems is recommended regardless of the current stage of a relationship. Therefore, whether the couple just started the relationship, they’ve been dating for a long time, or they’re already married with children, they can benefit from counseling by exploring the root causes of their issues and developing healthy communication patterns.
How Can Counseling Help with Relationship Problems?
Regardless of your specific problem with your partner, counseling can help you improve your communication patterns and make you feel more alive in your relationship. The reason is that sometimes partners find it hard to identify their problems. Whenever they try to sort some things out between them, they end up arguing with each other. And this may increase tension between partners, instead of overcoming relationship troubles constructively.
However, counselors provide a safe and supportive space for couples to share their pure feelings, maybe even argue with each other without confrontation, and determine what their real problem is. As a result, partners and counselors together can find ways to work through the difficulties efficiently.
Another benefit of relationship counseling is that it motivates couples to actively study their problems and learn more about their relationship and communication patterns. In fact, it helps people to discover the root causes of their current problems and strengthen their romantic bonds.
A meta-analysis of couple therapy proves that after receiving counseling, couples learn how to become resilient and avoid losing emotional or physical intimacy in the future (Roddy et al., 2020).
Effectiveness of Relationship Counseling
Studies focused on the effectiveness of relationship counseling reveal that therapy focused on romantic relationship problems can improve relationship satisfaction and increase the overall well-being of partners. Besides, couples who receive relationship counseling tend to have better communication skills and a stronger emotional connection with each other (Schofield et al., 2012). Therefore, relationship counseling can have both short-term and long-term positive effects on the dynamics of a relationship.
Moreover, according to the American Association of Marriage and Family, 97% of the couples who participated in the research were satisfied with the therapy, and the majority of them thought that the counseling helped them develop efficient ways to handle conflicts in their relationship better.
When Counseling is Recommended for Relationship Problems?
To understand when you should contact relationship counselors, first, you need to assess how healthy your relationship is and what type of problem you’re facing. Sometimes couples face difficult times, such as financial crises or family-related problems. Even more. They may perceive having a new baby as problematic and have trouble adjusting to a new way of life. But if your relationship is based on trust, you respect and support each other and try to be honest and open, you might be able to deal with these romantic relationship problems yourself.
But what if you understand that your relationship is far from being healthy and supportive? In this case, receiving counseling is recommended to overcome problems in your romantic relationships. And the sooner you try to contact a couples counselor, the better the chances are of strengthening your emotional bond and saving the relationship.
So, don’t hesitate to get in touch with licensed counselors at Health for Life Counseling Grand Rapids, MI and Ada, MI. Our experienced therapists are available in the West Michigan area and online, ready to help you deal with your romantic relationship problems.