- Is it hard to enjoy each other?
- Do you feel an emotional distance?
- Is affection missing?
- Are you fighting much of the time?
- Is trust in each other fading?
- Is your sex life suffering?
Couples often begin therapy with a breakdown in communication. You may give up bringing up important topics to avoid arguing and "keep the peace". This can create a build-up of issues that are unresolved as well as hurt feelings and/or distrust. My approach to couple therapy is primarily influenced by Emotional Focused Therapy for Couples (EFT). Goals of therapy will vary for different couples, but often involve helping the couple to identify and change recurrent negative interaction cycles.
Conversation Starters that Might Help
"I think we can enjoy each other more than we do now."
"I love you and I know we can do better."
"I really want to try to improve our relationship."
"This is not about me getting my way or you getting yours. It's about us learning how to get along and enjoy our relationship."
"Would you be willing to try meeting with a couple therapist and see if it helps. Can you imagine how great that would be?"
"If we start couple therapy, then we have a dedicated time to talk about our relationship once per week. This could help us feel less pressure the rest of the week."
Tips: how to talk to your spouse about counseling
- Avoid bringing it up in the midst of a heated argument.
- Focus on your desire to improve your future.
- Acknowledge your relationship distress without blaming.