Love is blind, as they say.
Alright, it’s not that love is blind; it’s that those in love are too close to their problems to see a way around them. It takes someone that can see the problems from the outside–those with perspective–to truly find ways to fix the issues that show themselves in many relationships.
Whether it’s a marriage counselor or your personal therapist, it’s important that you consider seeing someone that can give you an outside opinion and help you see what needs to be worked on. This will mean leaving at the door and being open to letting someone in on your struggle, but it will be well worth the vulnerability.
When is the right time to seek the help of someone outside of your relationship? In most cases, the sooner the better. Rather than reacting to a tragic event, be proactive and seek that help before your small arguments become huge ones. Let’s take a look at some clear signs that you should get in contact with a counselor or therapist sooner rather than later.
When the words stop
There are two levels of anger and resentment:
When the yelling starts and when the yelling stops.
When you’re yelling and cussing at the top of your lungs out of anger and frustration, of course you’re angry (and should also find some help). But the problems within your relationship get even harder to solve when there’s no one talking. When you’ve gotten so fed up with each other that you’d rather not speak to them at all.
If this is something that you’ve experienced first hand, you understand how awkward and agonizing the silence is. You both know what needs to be said but refuse to be the person that says it.
Bringing in objective eyes and ears to the situation will allow the conversation to start flowing in a productive manner. You probably won’t square it all away in one session, but as the conversations begin, so will the healing.
When you can’t get past that one issue
Every time you disagree with your partner it seems to come up.
Every time there’s a fight, it magically appears in the conversation.
If there’s an issue or disagreement that you and your spouse keep beating like a bass drum, it’s time to find a therapist’s couch to sit on.
You’ve clearly tried to work through that issue on your own, but it just hasn’t worked. Don’t let your ego get in the way of you hiring someone to help you wade through the waters of conflict resolution. The perspective that a counselor can provide will solve the problem much faster than the two people that created the problem. Give them the opportunity to step in and help you see how to fix the issue.
When you’re unfaithful
But being unfaithful isn’t just about physical affairs. You can be unfaithful with your emotions. You can be unfaithful with your word. You can be unfaithful with your money.
When you marry your partner, you’re both putting your faith in each other to honor and respect the relationship. Anything you do that steps outside the boundaries of that faith is then unfaithful.
If you find that you’re cozying up to your coworker in an inappropriate manner, you’re being unfaithful.
If you’re secretly spending money that belongs to the both of you on something you know that you shouldn’t, you know that you’re being unfaithful.
Oh, and if you’re lying naked next to someone who’s not your spouse as you read this, you’re also being unfaithful.
Before any unfaithful action details the sanctity of your marriage, find a counselor or therapist that is well equipped to help heal that hurt. It’s the best thing for you and your partner.
You have very different backgrounds
Love will get you together, but it can’t be the sole force that keeps you together.
As you begin your lifetime of love with your spouse, there will be many life events that you experience together. These life events will be blessings in most cases, but in other cases, they will cause headaches. Whether it be differences in religion, ideology, or simply attitude, you and your spouse’s backgrounds could cause some serious strain on your relationship.
Imagine a Jewish man and a Catholic woman trying to navigate the winter holiday season. If they are both committed to their religions, how can they find harmony in their home? How can they mesh the two holidays that mean so much to each other’s culture?
They can try. But it will probably be easier if they had someone from the outside providing perspective. It’s situations like this that the objectivity of a therapist or counselor can be a major asset to any marriage. Again, the difference in the background doesn’t have to be one of religion. Any friction caused by deeply ingrained belief systems will be more easily navigated with a voice of reason from the outside of the relationship
Seek a marriage counselor
A marriage counselor serves the same purpose as a doctor, except the monitor and improve the health of your marriage instead of your physical body. Just like your doctor, you don’t want to only use your marriage counselor when your marriage is on its deathbed.
Go see them frequently. Get in their office for frequent check-ins and check-ups. Don’t wait until it’s too late to get the help that you and your spouse so desperately need. They will be the greatest resource you lean on when your marriage is on the rocks.