5 common couples therapy causes
Believe it or not, most couples struggle to maintain a great relationship. However, for some couples, this struggle is more than they can bear on their own. Which is why they choose to go to couples therapy. Traditionally, couples therapy meant that you needed to visit the therapist’s office, something that many couples were reluctant to do. These days, you can utilize some of the best online therapy services instead. But do you need couples therapy in the first place? In this article, we will go over the common couples therapy causes and explain how the therapy itself can help.
Five most common couples therapy causes
There are literally infinite reasons why couples may choose to undergo couples therapy. That being said, some of those reasons are simply far more common than others. The “main” reasons why couples decide that therapy sessions are in their best interest are:
- Couples grow apart
- Financial squabbles
- Parenting differences
- Communication issues
Other notable reasons include jealousy among partners, addiction, labor division, and a difference in values. And, of course, some couples go to couples therapy just to get “permission” for divorce. The best online therapy for couples can deal with all these issues and many more. Every one of the abovementioned causes can be “fixed”, in most cases. Sometimes, the relationship is simply not working out and couples therapy will help figure that out. But we will get to that later. For now, let’s explore these causes in a bit more detail.
Couples growing apart is one of the most common couples therapy causes
Throughout the marriage, things can slowly change. After several years have passed, couples may notice that they are not engaging with one another the way they used to. Couples may start to feel like they are roommates instead of a couple. This phenomenon usually occurs around seven years of marriage, and again after about 21 years of marriage. Of course, if one partner is struggling with overcoming relationship anxiety, this may happen sooner rather than later. Most of the time, couples report that they lose connection or intimacy with one another. Sometimes only one partner notices this, sometimes both partners do.
While this may sound like a serious issue, the main problem is that this state of affairs goes on and on, before the couple realizes that they need to do something about it. “It does not matter, we are both very busy anyway.” is a very common sentence in these cases. But after some time, this situation inevitably collects its due. And it usually leads to either a divorce or enrolling in couples therapy.
Couples may argue about money
One of the most common couples therapy causes is money. Not money by itself, of course, but the fact that couples have a tendency to argue about it. Money has the potential to bring the worst out of people and have us deal with panic attacks, all on our own. It can be a highly contentious topic among couples, and it can easily break a marriage if you allow it to. There are countless ways in which you can have an argument over money. You can argue how best to invest it, how to spend it, and how each partner should be earning more of it.
There are solutions to the money issue, of course, but every couple is different. That is why going to at least a few couples therapy sessions is such a good idea. Most couples need to understand their relationship with money and how it influences their thoughts. Furthermore, most money issues stem from past experiences, and the way each partner learned about financial matters. Couples therapy allows for the identification of these factors and correcting them to the benefit of the couple.
Perhaps the most common couples therapy causes, infidelity has been with us since the dawn of humanity. Infidelity is, essentially, a breach of trust. You can also call it cheating if you want to use less delicate terms. This breach of trust extends further than physical infidelity, too. Emotional betrayal can hit as hard as a physical one. Some people may even go through all seven stages of grief when faced with infidelity! It has that much power.
But the good news is that couples therapy can help even with infidelity issues. Most of the time, there are significant issues that cause infidelity in the first place. That being said, most of the time (around two-thirds of the time) infidelity does result in the relationship’s end. But that also means that one-third of couples do manage to work through their infidelity issues.
Sometimes, a simple disagreement on determining the number of children a couple might want to have can cause a great deal of strife. Or couples may not agree on how to raise their kids. Or it might so happen that one parent tries their hardest to win the favor of their kids and imbalances the “hierarchy” in the household. Due to all these reasons (and many more), parenting differences make for one of the most common couples therapy causes.
Traditionally, couples therapy for parenting differences was extremely hard. Both parents needed to take time off their busy schedules and visit the therapist’s office. But these days, parents can take advantage of online counseling and conduct the therapy from their own homes. This eliminates scheduling issues and allows the parents to make the most out of their time.
Last on our list of top five common couples therapy causes are communication issues. It is not always easy for partners to communicate with one another in an amicable way, after all. One partner’s means of communication might be yelling when they are angry and the other partner might not be comfortable with that, for example. But communication issues can be as varied as people are. Couples that are struggling to communicate properly have a tendency of hurting each other’s feelings much more often.
But by undergoing couples therapy, these issues can usually be rectified. They are much easier to solve than some of the other causes, that’s for sure. Most of the time, couples are not even aware of their communication mishaps and they only need a small nudge in the right direction. And couples therapy may provide that nudge.
How can couples therapy help?
Couples therapy helps couples in a variety of ways. Every couple is unique, of course, but there are common benefits that most couples experience from the therapy. They are:
- Better understanding between partners
- Improved communication skills
- Rebuilding trust
- New ways for the partners to connect
As well as figuring out whether couples should stay in the relationship at all. Sometimes, the relationship should not be saved. It is the therapist’s job to figure out whether the relationship should be salvaged or “cut”. You can always recognize a bad therapist if they don’t even entertain the thought of whether the relationship should be saved or not. That being said, many couples undergo couples therapy to great effect.
Let’s take a look at what exactly the therapy brings to the proverbial table.
At the very least, couples therapy will impart better understanding between partners. Everyone has their own “style” of interaction, after all, and some might not be compatible with others. What the therapy does is it identifies and recognizes these differences as well as provides ways to overcome them. It helps build empathy between the partners and allows them to think in a new way. Empathy, in particular, is one of the cornerstones of any relationship, and improving it may help save the relationship.
Improved communication skills
As we mentioned before, bad communication is one of the most common couples therapy causes. What usually happens is that one partner thinks that the other should simply know what they are feeling and react accordingly. But that is not what good communication is all about. Good communication is a skill that can be learned. Couples therapy works on improving the communication skills of both partners, thereby avoiding most of the communication issues from occurring in the first place.
Couples therapy also helps partners rebuild trust in one another. This is accomplished by exploring the underlying issues of any breaches of trust and having both partners understand why it has occurred. Of course, couples therapy is not omnipotent and can’t mend every single proverbial fence, but it does help. Couples will have the ability to express their own concerns and fears and have an impartial, non-judgemental therapist listen to them.
Finding new ways for the partners to connect
When couples become entrenched in responsibilities and routines, their relationship often “drifts apart”. Growing apart from one another is one of the main common couples therapy causes, after all. Furthermore, partners might find themselves suddenly unable to connect to one another, due to one reason or another. By undergoing couples therapy, couples can learn strategies for reconnecting, both on the emotional and physical levels.
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