The truth about couples counselling involves many little known facts about love and interpersonal relationships. Couples often come to couples counselling too late and have unrealistic expectations about what couples counselling can do for them.
Couples counselling CANNOT make a person love another person once that love is gone.
Here are some of the common couples counselling scenarios I have come across:
- Sex dimishes over the years
- Couples put too much focus on their children and lose sight of their connection over time
- Women generally need emotional and mental input to want physical intimacy
- Once the psychological connection disappears, women tend to start detaching emotionally
- Men can have sex without feeling psychologically connected
- Once men finally recognise the emotional detachment in their partners, the love is usually gone
Couples tend to come see me months or years into their problems. The sex has dimished, or is non-existant and in many cases, the couple are sleeping in separate rooms. This is sometimes due to snoring and the set up tends to continue indefinitely.
The woman has emotionally checked out and often the love has been extinguished. If this is the stage that a couple comes to see me at, it is very difficult to rekindle the relationship. Couples become complacent and stop working at their relationship.
A relationship cannot continue without effort – affection, verbal expressions of love and validation (I love you, I miss you, I appreciate you, you look lovely today etc), acts of service – doing nice things for each other and quality time need to be experienced regularly for a relationship to survive long term.
Common reasons for couples counselling:
Lack of sex
Constant arguing and general unhappiness
Warning signs in relationships:
If you notice any of the following, don’t put your head in the sand. Sit up and take notice – talk to each other and if necessary, see someone for couples counselling.
Lack of sex, where one partner is unhappy with the regularity.
Poor communication. If you have stopped talking about the important stuff (feelings, hopes, dreams) and just go through the motions of work, grocery shopping, school runs etc…you could be headed for trouble.
There is very little quality time or very little focus on each other. Make time for each other – proper time where you listen and engage with each other (no TV and no mobile phones allowed).
A feeling of resentment – don;t let this fester, it will destroy the love between you over time.
Don’t let it go on for too long – the longer you leave it unattended the less chance you have to repair any damage.