Do You Need Marriage Therapy? Know the Warning Signs

Is your marriage taking strain? Being happily married is not always smooth sailing. In fact, there is no such thing as a perfect marriage; difficulty is part of most relationships, but when problems are on-going and cannot be resolved between partners, then it’s time you consider marriage therapy?

Marriage therapy is a professional structure that helps couples experiencing difficulties to understand their problems, eliminate destructive behaviours and work through them. Committing to marriage therapy is the first step to making a marriage work. Seeing a therapist equips couples with the tools needed to communicate more effectively. Marriage therapy will help you remove personal blind spots that have gotten in the way of seeing yourself clearly. It coaches you in the art of listening without making judgements and placing blame. It also helps you express frustration constructively so you don’t angrily act it out and say things you will regret. These are crucially important skills that will transform your relationship.

While divorce may be necessary and the healthiest choice for some, others may wish to try to salvage whatever is left of the union. So, when is the best time to seek marriage therapy? Here are four critical warning signs to watch out for.

Warning Signs for Marriage Therapy

  • Communication has become negative – once communication has deteriorated, often it is hard to get it going back in the right direction. Negative communication can include anything that leaves one partner feeling depressed, insecure, disregarded, or wanting to withdraw from the conversation. This can also include the tone of the conversation. It is important to remember that it’s not always what you say, but how you say it. Without good communication, compromise is impossible, without compromise your problems pile like land mines ready to explode and repeatedly damage your relationship. Marriage therapy helps you learn how to talk and listen to one another.
  • When one or both partners have had an affair – recovering from an affair is not impossible, but it takes a lot of work. It takes commitment and a willingness to forgive and move forward. There is no magic formula for recovering from an affair. But if both individuals are committed to the marriage therapy process and are being honest, the marriage may be salvaged.
  • When the only resolution appears to be separation – when a couple disagrees or argues, a break often is very helpful. However, when a timeout turns into an overnight stay away from home or eventually leads to a temporary separation, this may indicate a need for marriage therapy. Spending time away from home does not usually resolve the situation. Instead, it reinforces the thought that time away is helpful, often leading to more absences. When the absent partner returns, the problem is still there, but often avoided because time has passed.
  • Staying together for the sake of the children – often couples believe that they are doing the right thing when staying together for the sake of the children, but actually it is detrimental to the children. On the contrary, if the couple is able to resolve the issues and move toward a positive, healthy relationship, this may be the best decision for all involved. However, children should never be the deciding factor when couples are determining whether to stay together. Children are generally very intuitive and intelligent. No matter how parents may think they are able to fake their happiness, most children are able to tell.

All marriages are not salvageable. However, for those relationships that can be salvaged, and for those couples willing to commit to the process, marriage therapy may be able to remind them why they fell in love in the first place. Surely, it’s worth a try! Contact Dr Tienie Maritz today and allow us to help you save your marriage and keep your family happily together.

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