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Relationship Counseling to Help With Infidelity, Communication Issues, & Boundaries

Is Relationship Counseling Right For You? How To Know If You Need Couples Therapy

Many people who enter into relationship counseling with the goal of improving their relationship. They may be seeking a tune up, want to learn new skills, get an outside perspective, have support for a difficult time in their lives or address an impasse they’ve been facing.

Relationship counseling with a couples’ therapist can help couples flourish, revive intimacy, and fix what feels broken. For some couples, relationship counseling can even help them end a relationship amicably and develop a plan for co-parenting. Relationship counselors have no agenda, other than supporting the organic course of the relationship.

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Common Problems Treated With Couples Counseling

Couples are bound to have relationship problems. Relationships are ever-evolving, and constantly finding a new rhythm, that makes room for each partner’s growth. Whether face-to-face or via online therapy, relationship and marriage counseling can help with that is getting in the way of a thriving relationship. Every couple experiences difficulties at times, and it is healthy to want help through them. While it can be challenging to share your story with another person, beginning the process of marital therapy, or relationship counseling, can offer you and your partner a safe, judgment-free zone to navigate your most intimate and personal concerns.

Couples seek relationship counseling with a mental health professional for help with all kinds of common relationship issues, including:
 

  • Ineffective communication
  • Different parenting approaches
  • Aging, dependent or difficult extended family
  • Improve emotional, physical, or sexual intimacy
  • Healing from of betrayal,
  • Managing conflicting or competing needs
  • Different attachment styles and love languages
  • Introduce new experiences into the relationship
  • To get to know each other better and explore their relationship further
  • Resolve persistent fighting
  • Balancing different lifestyles, wants, and needs
  • Navigating mismatched libidos and other intimacy concerns
  • Parenting and co-parenting differences
  • Premarital planning
  • Major life changes and stressors
  • Different spending styles or financial betrayal

Communication Issues

Communication issues are one of the most common problems for couples. People learn to communicate from the environment they experienced growing up. If they watched a parent avoid talking about difficult issues, they might mimic that in their adult relationships.

If they witnessed constant fights and verbal arguments amongst caregivers, they may believe that is how problems get resolved. Everyone comes from a different background, and it is common for couples to have different communication styles. However, when unaddressed, it can be difficult for a relationship to move forward, feeling safe and productive for both partners. In relationship counseling, couples learn how to work together and either make both styles work, or co-create a new style for a healthy relationship.

Infidelity & Betrayal

Betrayal hurts. It is one of the most painful experiences a person can have, and it is very common for a couple to get help after infidelity. Typically, when there is physical, sexual, emotional or financial infidelity or betrayal, both partners in the relationship are likely to experience a plethora of emotions.

For the partner that has been betrayed, a form of trauma known as betrayal trauma is often present. Betrayal trauma occurs whenever trust, attachment, or dependency within a relationship has been ruptured.

When someone is betrayed by a partner, they often experience extremely painful emotions such as depression, loneliness, anger, intense rage, hypervigilance and paranoia, and hopelessness. It can feel as if the carpet has been ripped out from under them.

Their reality can be shaken to the core and they may question everything they thought to be true. Therapy sessions with a clinician trained to treat betrayal, can help a partner or a couple find a way through the pain.

Codependency

Codependency often occurs in adult relationships but at the root is often known or unresolved trauma experienced during childhood. Someone who is codependent might have witnessed codependency within the relationship of their primary caregivers, watched a caregiver struggle with addiction, emotionally supported a caregiver or family member (also known as enmeshment), or experienced abuse and had to ignore their own needs to protect themselves.

When that child grows up, if they often become an adult struggling with codependency. As a result, it will likely impact their romantic relationships. Codependency in relationships can present itself in different ways. While not an inclusive list, codependency can often can look like:

 

  • Enabling a partner’s addiction or negative coping behaviors
  • Having difficulty or inability to say no to a partner
  • Ignoring personal needs to meet the needs of a partner
  • Not holding their partner accountable for something hurtful
  • Putting their partner on a pedestal
  • Avoiding confrontation with a partner in order to keep the peace
  • Having overly rigid boundaries, or minimal boundaries
  • Feeling overly responsible for a painter’s moods or behavior

Set & Maintain Healthy Boundaries with Relationship Counseling

There aren’t enough good things to say about boundaries, and the importance they serve in relationships. Everyone can and should employ boundaries in all relationships. This is especially important in romantic relationships. In them, people are often the most vulnerable, intimate, and emotionally exposed.

Boundaries include physical, emotional, sexual, spiritual, time and financial limitations. They protect you from maltreatment, intentional or not. They are guidelines that enable you to identify what is okay and what is crossing the line.

Boundaries enable self-esteem, confidence, self-awareness, and self-love. You do not need to offer an explanation for your boundaries, but it’s often helpful to communicate your boundaries to your partner before they have a chance to be violated.

In return, it can be equally important to know your partner’s boundaries. Respecting one another’s boundaries leads to a higher likelihood of attunement, connection and safety.

As easy as boundaries sound, they aren’t always easy to set and sustain. For those who struggle with codependency, self-worth, histories of abuse, neglect, and other forms of trauma, setting boundaries can feel terrifying. Working with a Clinical Psychologist, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, or Clinical Social Worker in relationship counseling or family therapy can help you:

 

  • Recognize opportunities for healthy boundaries
  • Lighten up boundaries that actually walls
  • Discuss boundaries in a productive way
  • Learn what to do if boundaries change
  • Implement new boundaries with respect for each other

Premarital Relationship Counseling For A Healthy Start

Premarital relationship counseling can help couples identify challenges before they become problematic. Premarital counseling is a type of counseling that can help couples to build a strong relational foundation and invest in their future.

During premarital relationship counseling, couples can work with their therapist to address any issues that are of concern, understand each other better as individuals and as a couple.

They can set goals and address progress, identify any perceived or real threats to the relationship, and further strengthen their bond. Many couples find it helpful to take a proactive approach and learn the necessary skills needed to thrive as a couple before they walk down the aisle, and Modern Intimacy is here to help.

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