When a couple begins a relationship, they hope that everything will be easy and fall right into place. They see all the similarities between themselves and may not notice the differences that may lead to issues and problems down the line. This is normal and natural for people falling in love. We tend to idealize our partners and are not in a place to look for anything that might worry us in the future.
However, you and your partner are different and come from two unique worlds. You have different ways of thinking, ideas about life, and thoughts on various issues and topics that will come up in every relationship. Navigating this can be difficult, and couples often do not know how to talk about these things without the discussion erupting into an argument. These seemingly small disagreements may eventually turn into much bigger issues if not handled in a healthy way. If you and your partner keep arguing over the same topics and feel like your arguments keep playing out the same way without resolution, this might be a good time for therapy.
Couples often bring in issues such as communication problems, infidelity, sexual difficulties, financial disagreements, differences in parenting, depression and/or anxiety, and differences in life goals, morals, and values. These are all areas that need careful navigation and attention. Commonly, people think of these issues as “deal breakers,” but that is not necessarily the case. When managed and worked through in a healthy way, a relationship often becomes stronger in the long run.
How to Prepare
Couples often come in expecting one person to be at fault for all the issues in the relationship. Be prepared to acknowledge your limitations as well as your partner’s when you begin therapy. Both people contribute to the issues, and both will need to consider how he or she is helping to perpetuate the problem. The more open and honest you are about your thoughts and feelings, the more success you will experience the process. Your therapist (and your partner) will better understand and be able to help you have the relationship you want if you are clear on who you are, how you feel, and what you are expecting in your relationship.
What to Expect
The first session will be a joint session where you and your partner will discuss what you see as the problems in your relationship. You will discuss when they began and how they have evolved over time. Your therapist will encourage you to explore the arguments you have had with each other and how they usually progress. This will give your therapist a good idea of your argument style and the common issues that plague your relationship. After the initial session, your therapist will most likely want to see both partners’s individually to get a better idea of each person’s background, relationship history, and thoughts and feelings on the current relationship. Each of these sessions is completely confidential, and your therapist will not bring up anything discussed in your joint sessions.
The subsequent sessions will be working sessions where your therapist will help you work through issues, develop better communication skills, and assist you in working towards the relationship you both want. Weekly sessions are encouraged to gain momentum and maintain positive progression while working on homework that will probably be assigned during your session.
Results are dependent on you as a couple. Couples that work hard and are open and honest progress the most quickly. Relationships take work, and you did not get to this place overnight. You need to put as much effort into your relationship as it took to get to this place. The hope is that you grow together. However, sometimes the best solution is to end the relationship so you can both be happy. Through therapy, you will be able to decide what the best path is for you. Noyau’s therapists are experts in couples counseling, and they will work with you to get you to a healthy, happy, and fulfilling place.