Does Couples Therapy Work?

This is a collaborative post.

Every couple has disagreements once in a while and I would be lying if I said I never fight with my husband. But, if you and your significant other are spending more time arguing than you are getting along, it may be time to talk to a couple’s therapist. Experts say that about 70% of arguments go unresolved and it is these arguments that cause the same issues to be argued about over and over again.

Photo Credit: Adriana Velásquez

What Are You Fighting About?

Sometimes, you and your spouse may not even know what you are arguing about anymore. It has become a habit to snap at each other and take things out on your partner when you are in a bad mood. Have you ever heard of couples who fight over putting the cap on the toothpaste and wonder if that is really true? Well, it is. Sometimes, you are fighting about something that has nothing to do with what you are really mad about. Maybe you are really mad at your husband because he does not listen to you but you yell at him about not picking up his dirty clothes or for leaving the light on in the bathroom. This kind of argument is not going to get anywhere unless you talk about what is really bothering you. A therapist can teach you how to do this. In addition, if there is a serious breach of trust such as infidelity or lying about something important, this kind of issue may need some extra help to resolve.

Agree to Disagree

You cannot agree with each other about everything. That would be nice but eventually there is going to be something that you two disagree on. However, that does not mean you have to fight about it. As long as it is not something that is going to hurt the other person or cause a significant impact on the relationship, you can just agree to disagree about the subject. For example, maybe your partner likes to watch baseball and you hate it. You can agree to watch it together if your partner does something that you want to do or your partner can record the games and watch it while you are busy doing something else. Problem solved.

What Kind of Counseling is Best?

There are many different types of couples counseling. Some are for each of you to see or talk to a therapist alone and others are for both of you together.

  • The Adlerian Approach by Alfred Adler is an individual therapy approach in which the therapist speaks to each of you separately.
  • Group Therapy is nice for those who like to talk to others who are going through a similar experience.
  • The Gottman Method by Drs. John and Julie Gottman introduce a way to make your relationship become more of a friendship and partnership so you can learn to manage conflict and support each other.

Do We Really Need Therapy?

If you are considering the thought of couples therapy, your relationship could probably use it. Just the fact that you believe you may have a problem is an indication that you should talk to someone about what is going on. If you do not have a therapist, there are websites that offer couples therapy online so you can get your therapy from the comfort from your own home.

Abusive Relationships

If you are in a volatile relationship that includes any kind of mental or physical abuse, you need to seek professional help now. If you do not know what to do or where to go, call your local police department for help.

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