What is Couples and Marriage Counselling Therapy?
Romantic relationships can be a wonderful thing, but goodness can they also get complicated. If you're reading this, it likely means you know exactly what we're talking about, either from first had experience or by observing someone you love.
It's completely normal to go through relational ups and downs. In fact, it's completely healthy. No relationship, romantic or otherwise, is always at it's best. But, sometimes things can get very very complicated, and this is incredibly painful. This is where couples counselling can come in. Couples can try to go it alone and try to work through problems themselves, or they can seek support from a trained and experienced marriage counsellor. Yes, this can feel vulnerable, but is also so worth it!
Marriage counselling is a safe environment to explore what causes and keeps the problems in the relationship going, and then work towards making the necessary changes. It's true that in most cases, each individual in the relationship is part of the problem, so each individual will need to work on themselves. But, couples often view the other as the enemy when the real enemy isn't each other at all, but rather, the negative cycles. Couples counselling can help identity these cycles, which opens up space to begin creating positive changes, leading to positive relationship experiences.
When Is the Right Time to Seek Marriage Counselling?
Great question! The answer is that the sooner a couple can address their struggles, the more successful therapy will be. Think of it this way: A couple that generally has a healthy relationship can weather an argument and then return to paradise without long-term problems. However, if the fighting gets more frequent and intense, it's quite common for resentment to begin building up from one or both partners. After some time, each fight leaves a residual effect which is carried over into the next fight. I often liken it to stacking paper on a desk. One sheet of paper is barely visible, but after you stack sheet upon sheet, you can eventually reach the moon with the stack. Marriage problems are similar in that problems get stacked up and eventually they can seem almost insurmountable.
You may ask, "but what if we're not fighting anymore?" That too is common. It likely means that one or both of you have checked out or stopped trying. While this can certainly feel easier than fighting all the time, it's not a fun and healthy way of being in a committed intimate relationship.
Sometimes one partner checks out while the other partner is still trying hard to make the relationship work. Perhaps you're the partner who would like to make the relationship work and you're searching for a therapist to walk this journey with you. Truth is that it takes both partners do dance in synchrony, and this is also the case for couples therapy.
If this is the case for you, we would encourage you to begin with individual therapy as a way of processing the pain, and to make some of the changes you'd want to make regardless of the outcome of the relationship. And you never know, your partner may notice you getting healthier and get curious about re-engaging. And if nothing else, you are getting yourself to a healthier place, which is good for your health and well-being regardless of where your relationship goes from here.
Reasons to Seek Marriage Counselling in Winnipeg
You feel like your relationship is at a standstill. You and your partner are stuck in the same argument loop over and over again. It feels like you are drifting apart. You desire more intimacy. You used to have great—or at least much more enjoyable—sex, but now the spark is hardly noticeable. And it's getting harder to cope with the grief of the loss of what once was, or what could be. You're just tired of the struggle.
You know you'd like some help, but don't know where to turn. And you've been trying to get yourself to find a couples therapist in Winnipeg but haven't been able to get yourself to reach out.
Does any of this resonate with you? If so, you are certainly not alone. All relationships, including couples, experience relational strains from time to time. But when the problem persists to the point where one or both of you stop trying, then there is a real risk of losing the relationship.
Struggles in romantic relationships can be brought on by many things, including...
Some issues that bring people to couples therapy in Winnipeg:
◻️ Higher than normal stress
◻️ Simply growing in different directions
◻️ Starting a family
◻️ Past trauma
... just to name a few. If left unattended, over time these issues can take a painful toll on the relationship, and it hurts to feel like you've tried everything you can think of but it's just not working.
Other reasons that may bring couples to therapy may include:
◻️ Stress and work/life balance
◻️ Trauma and PTSD
◻️ Blended families
◻️ Chronic illness
◻️ Extended family
◻️ Mental illness
◻️ Sex and porn addiction
◻️ Simply growing apart
Common goals for couples therapy include:
◻️ Develop the necessary skills needed to maintain sustaining love
◻️ Improve communication
◻️ Become a stronger team to address life's small and big issues
◻️ Clarify parenting goals
◻️ Envision a successful future together
◻️ Deepen emotional engagement and connection
◻️ Rekindle romance and sexual desire
In some cases, couples have already decided that divorce is the best option forward. If that is the case for you, I'd be more than happy to journey with you towards a successful process.
Most things can be improved, changed, and bettered with the right supports. With couples therapy or marriage counselling, you’ll learn how to communicate your feelings and needs, and get what you both want out of the relationship. It's possible!
We would love to hear from you even if you’re not ready to make a commitment to an appointment. Feel free to call or email us today to request a FREE 15-minute phone or video consultation.