There may be times in every marriage when someone else’s advice may be needed to put things right. You may try to think your way around the situation but you realize that the problem still persists. But the big question is, who do you trust to give you such counsel?
Close family or friends whom you can trust with confidential information about your relationship without them taking sides or making things worse are hard to find. And even if they exist, you cannot be too certain how they would handle each case you present to them. This is where a marriage counselor comes in.
A marriage counselor is someone who helps partners to navigate issues in their relationship in an unbiased manner free from negative interference or judgment. They are professionals who had sworn to adhere to the principles of confidentiality. That means every confidential information you give them is safe with them.
Partners must remain open about their feelings for each other to be able to establish a relationship based on loyalty and honesty. Anything short of this, when the partners remain anxious and restricted in their communication, can create doubts, lack of trust, and misunderstanding in the relationship. It is therefore pertinent to opt for marriage counseling if you need someone to intervene in your marriage for the better.
Marriage counseling enables couples to make a conscious effort to address the issues in their relationship or marriage and to find suitable solutions to enhance the relationship. Now, let us see 8 important signs you might need to seek the guidance of a marriage counselor.
Signs you need the guidance of a marriage counselor
These signs you would see in this section are not absolute signs to see a marriage counselor. If you think you can handle the situation on your own with/without your partner, fine. But you might need another person, especially when you feel overwhelmed. In this case, a marriage counselor would be your best, if not ‘bester‘ bet.
1. Constant irritable behavior leading to arguments
Couples must learn to understand each other’s temperaments to build a stronger relationship and face problems together. Arguments are bound to arise in the course of every relationship, but it is important that you are able to dispel them as much as possible.
The best way to manage arguments and put them in check instead of escalating them is by learning to calm down when your partner is angry, and vice-versa. This is where understanding your temperaments comes in.
A partner may project their anger and frustration from work to their partner when they return home; the anger could be from other reasons whatsoever. While this is not something you’d be encouraged to do often, it is important you learn to understand where your partner’s rage is directed towards and help them manage it, instead of assuming that you are the one they are angry at.
That being said, one clear sign that you might need to see a marriage counselor is that you might be getting easily agitated and short-tempered. The number of arguments you have is increasing and persistent every day, or you feel unable to handle your partner’s excesses anymore. These are situations you need to see a marriage counselor.
2. Persistent triggering behavior
Triggering behavior is any behavior by you or your partner that triggers you or your partner into anger. Sometimes, you or your partner are unaware that this behavior is irritating the other person. Many other times, it is deliberate with full knowledge that the behavior is irritating, but you go on anyways, probably because you have some underlying issues that are bothering you.
Lack of clarity regarding roles and responsibilities towards household chores can cause misunderstanding in the home. This can trigger anger, fights, and incessant arguments. Certain habitual behaviors may be undesirable to your partner, and the onus is on you to work ways to change them or make an effort to. Either way, with effective communication, you can sort out the issues and reduce tension in your home.
If you observe repetitive angry behavior that is beginning to affect your peace and sanity in the relationship or marriage, you may need to consult a marriage counselor, who would assist you in figuring out the root cause of the problems, and create a plan to restore communication and resolve all internal conflicts. This will not only help at the immediate point in time but also help establish a structural basis to prevent future complications.
3. Changes in sexual activity
This is another very important reason to see a therapist or marriage counselor because sex is an essential ingredient in every marital relationship. A drastic shift in sexual activity can mean a lot of things; it could reflect problems in your intimacy with your partner, or issues that have to do with factors outside the home and the marriage.
Inadequate or non-satisfying sex can create tension in the marriage, or indicate and/or trigger infidelity. Most of the time, it is best to remain honest with your partner about your sexual needs and wants and be willing to satisfy theirs as well. In any case, however, a marriage counselor can help to provide solutions to these issues and establish a better relationship, as well as tips for better sexual enjoyment.
4. Distancing behavior/avoidance
Distancing behavior or avoidance is one of the most important non-verbal cues you need to learn to interpret in your relationship. Sometimes, your partner may avoid you or something they previously liked simply because it has something to do with you. Instead of misinterpreting it and getting offended, you should look into the reasons why they are behaving so and address them.
Couples may feel at certain points that they are consciously avoiding each other, and they can’t exactly say why. This can begin to affect their emotional stability, overall performance, functionality, and productivity at work and at home. Ultimately, this may lead to inevitable separation if nothing is done about it, and, early enough.
The partners may be unable to communicate with each other or lack ways to express themselves verbally. This can cause more problems in the union. A marriage counselor will provide a safe environment for the couple to talk about their feelings with a view to resolving the underlying issues.
5. Financial unfaithfulness
Financial unfaithfulness in your marriage means you or your partner are being dishonest or disloyal about expenditures, savings, and earnings. You suddenly realize that you are unwilling to provide financial assistance to your partner even when you have the money. You’d rather paint a lie than give them financial assistance when they ask, but this can be very detrimental to your social and emotional well-being as a couple.
Financial unfaithfulness or infidelity can affect the intimacy of your relationship and cause distancing behavior. Oftentimes, you or your partner know that something is not tying up here. You suspect that your partner is making up a lie to avoid helping you or the family financially. This is one reason why financial unfaithfulness can cause distrust, distancing behavior, anger, and incompatibility if unchecked. However, with the help of a marriage counselor, you can navigate through this together as a couple.
Infidelity is not something most people plan for but they should, in fact, plan for it. This is because opportunities for infidelity would always present themselves to you or your partner. Your conscious decision and preparedness to face it are what make you escape being a victim.
When infidelity is already on the stage, it becomes even more difficult to handle the situation. You may not know exactly how to let your partner know about what is happening, or your external sexual partner might threaten to make things very bad if you make any attempt to change. This makes infidelity one of the most important causes of separation or divorce, as it often doesn’t always end well.
Also, a cheating partner may suffer from anxiety, fear of being insufficient, or other mental health problems. Thus, if you find out that your partner is cheating, you should approach it rather discreetly and find ways to forgive them, considering that they may be facing a lot of internal heat themselves.
However easier said than done, in reality, that may not be so easy to do by yourself. A breach of trust and loyalty can take a toll on your mental health and overall functioning in other aspects of your life. Hence, couples who still want to make their marriage work beyond infidelity consult a marriage counselor to help them make rational decisions and cope with anxiety and disappointment.
7. Consciously withholding affection
Sometimes, you may find yourself or your partner consciously withholding affection to prove a point. There may be something bothering your mind and you feel withholding your attention is the best way to communicate your needs. However, this can affect your marriage and create multiple problems if nothing is done about it.
If you feel you are unable to handle this by yourself, a marriage counselor may help re-establish communication and help you build a better relationship with each other on equity, honesty, and unconditional love and affection.
8. Having irreconcilable differences
Many couples give up on a relationship whenever they feel nothing can be done to reconcile the differences that may be present. In reality, however, it is still not beyond repair. It may feel like it is finished but a little spark of flame can re-ignite the love and set it ablaze once again.
Every once in a while, couples need to discuss certain differences and misunderstandings that may have crept into the union. This is to avoid advancing them to far levels where they had become too difficult to control. But if irreconcilable differences do occur, extra help would be needed. This extra help would often be in the form of consulting a marriage counselor for help.
Marriage counseling services guarantee helpful ways to restore harmony, peace, and love to every relationship no matter the state of the relationship. As long as both partners are willing to cooperate to seek the help of the marriage counselor, the solution will always be just a foot away.
If you are in Dubai, or anywhere around, I recommend you opt for marriage counseling in Dubai if you are unable to personally handle any of the challenges discussed above. This will enable you to make conscious efforts to address issues in your relationship, enhance your relationship with your partner, and find a common ground leading to a sense of contentment.
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