Sometimes when people call to find out about couples counseling I can hear panic in their voice. I can sense a feeling of worry and fear. Something broke and the person on the phone doesn’t know how to fix it and that’s why they are calling.
This is a terrible place to find yourself: not knowing if you can make it in your relationship, wondering if it’s broken, and daring to hope it can ever be better. All this is pressing on the individual who is making the call. It’s a helpless kind of feeling. It’s as if their past experience amounts to nothing, and they must do something radical to survive.
Approaching Therapy Can be a Process
It’s a scary call to even consider. It’s an even harder call to make. And yet hundreds of people make these calls to therapists and counselors every day. They call because they are looking for help. They fear they’ll lose everything, and therapy is their last ditch effort.
Whatever the reason, it’s always a good sign. People turn to others when what they know doesn’t work anymore. It’s O.K. to do this when our car breaks down, or if we need a medical check up and to get our taxes done. But we aren’t taught to get outside help with getting our relationship back on track. We’re taught to fix it ourselves. Maybe we tell ourselves it’s not that bad, it could always be worse, or it will get eventually better.
Most people feel their relationship is their business, not the business of an outsider—even a therapist. I get it. It’s so hard to uncover all the parts that hide from us and from our partners and to then lay them out in front of a stranger. I know. I also know it works. The process works. People get a chance, maybe for the first time in their lives, to tell their entire story without someone telling them their vision is off or wrong.
Counseling Helps You Understand, Voice, and Meet Your Needs
That’s the beauty of counseling. It comes without judgment. Therapists are trained to help you say what will help you, understand what you feel, and help you ask for what you need to be happy.
It’s so scary to move into this when you have relied on yourself or your partner for everything else. It’s so hard to even think that someone who doesn’t know you can actually help you make your life and relationship better.
And that’s exactly our training. That’s what therapists and counselors do. We help people feel better. It’s what I do and I love it.
Communicate Lovingly with Your Spouse
Read a Book About Making Relationships Work
Learn more about how to communicate with your spouse by reading Linda’s book, Safe. Happy. Loved. Simple Skills for Your Relationship. It has conflict resolution strategies, tips for feeling heard, and suggestions on how to express your love and celebrate your relationship. Give it a read.
Get Couples Counseling
Come in for couples counseling. Couples counseling can help you and your loved one get the most out of your relationship. It'll equip you with coping strategies and tools for communication that can help you argue less and love more.