Should I go to couples’ therapy even if I’m not married?
Relationships aren’t always the love stories portrayed on Netflix or Instagram. Every couple goes through difficult periods in their relationship.
Maybe you’ve gone through a tough experience, like a job loss or death in the family, or just seem to be arguing a lot more than usual.
Like you, many couples get to a point where they ask themselves that critical question: “is my relationship worth saving?”
But wait, isn’t couples therapy just for married people?
Whether you’re married or not, couples therapy can be an incredibly valuable and rewarding experience.
Maybe you’ve chosen not to get married, or you just haven’t reached the marriage stage yet. In couples’ therapy, your therapist’s client is your relationship; it doesn’t matter how long you’ve been together, or whether you’ve decided to say “I do.”
Your therapist is committed to helping you explore your unique relationship, improve your communication, and work through conflict.
Financial strain, communication difficulties, sexual concerns, and life milestones are just a few of the reasons couples seek counseling, and these problems are certainly not unique to married couples.
In fact, it’s arguably more important for couples to seek therapy before they make a lifelong commitment to one another.
According to John Gottman, one of the preeminent experts in the field of couples’ therapy, most married couples wait until it’s too late to seek help:
couples wait an average of six years of being unhappy before getting help.
An advantage of seeking therapy at an early stage in your relationship is that you haven’t built up years of resentment. A couples’ therapist can help you lay the groundwork for a healthy, enjoyable, lasting relationship.
What happens in couples’ therapy?
While talking about your problems can be difficult, many couples find it is easier to speak openly and honestly in front of an impartial third party.
Our couples’ therapists are highly trained, and can help you identify stuck points in your relationship. In session, your therapist might help you practice communicating with one another, and teach you skills that will help you work through your problems and prevent future ones from popping up. Your therapist can help you express your needs, and learn to understand your partner’s needs, too.
Couples’ therapy isn’t just about working through your problems, though.
It can be a healing space after a stressful life event, or an opportunity for you and your partner to learn about each other more deeply.
And who knows, the act of being totally vulnerable with your partner in therapy might just open the door to begin to deepen your connection to one another.
Ready to give it a try?