Steve and Jan are growing apart. Their lack of connection is impacting their children and they need help. They have talked about going to see a couple therapist, but are reluctant. Yet, research shows that couple therapy works.
Here are 5 tips to consider when needing relationship help:
1) Don’t wait too long to go get help. By the time, a couple finally decides to give couple work a try, they may have already decided to call it quits or are so ingrained in their negative patterns, that change will take much work. The sooner you get help, the better.
2) People who need it, don’t get it. Telling yourself that someone how things will magically work out is not a strategy. There is proven help for relationships. Why not access that help and save a marriage?
3) Those who do try couple therapy, try it for a short time, then declare it doesn’t work. It takes time to develop negative relationships patterns and time to undo them. Give the therapy a chance to work. Most changes are not easy and require practice and work. Your relationship and family are both worth it.
4) A therapist’s values towards marriage and divorce impact couple work. Therapists who have a positive versus neutral value on marriage commitment, influence outcome (Doherty, National Registry for Marriage Friendly Therapists). Find a therapist who has a positive commitment towards marriage.
5) Find the right therapist who is trained specifically in couple work. Some therapists who do couples work are not trained in it. A therapist may tell you that he or she does couple work, but you need to ask about training and credentials. Look for someone who is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT) to know that he or she is properly trained.
If you need help to restore those positive feelings about your partner, to stop the fighting, to grow together instead of apart and renew the martial friendship, see someone now. The benefits are worth the time, expense and effort.
For relationship help, I Married You, Not Your Family by Dr. Linda Mintle