How do you know it is time to seek marriage counselling? Do you just throw caution to the wind and hope for the best? Here are 5 tell-tale signs that your marriage might be taking strain.
1. Drop in communication
The old adage ‘communication is key’, is one of the biggest reasons couples head for marriage counselling. If your communication no longer sizzles, and your feelings and words are just not getting through, it can often mount into a barrier, leaving you feeling frustrated and insecure. A lack of communication is the driving force behind many marital problems, which often leads to unresolved conflict, misunderstandings and the eventual breakdown of all communication patterns. Marriage counselling can help you and your spouse learn how to communicate better and it offers an unbiased sanctuary where you can address your problems out in the open, without fear of everything being blown out of proportion.
2. Sneaky secrecy
The secret to any successful marriage – don’t keep secrets. You and your partner are entitled to a degree of personal privacy, we all are. Keeping secrets from your partner is a sure-fire way to raise suspicion and lower intimacy levels, which certainly does not enhance your relationship in any way. In fact, keeping secrets can cause lasting damage to one of the most important foundations of a marriage: trust.
3. Avoiding you like the plague
Are you and your partner like two passing ships in the night? If you have ruled out work commitments and genuine reasons that call for time away from each other, this is an evidential sign that something is brewing. When your spouse starts clocking more overtime (unless there’s a genuine project deadline) and spending more time away from home – running errands and meetings at ghastly hours, or retreating to the confines of another room on a daily basis – take this as a signal that something is wrong.
4. Fantasising about affairs
There is nothing wrong with subtle fantasising about people other than your spouse – some people just make us weak in the knees. Although considered ‘emotional cheating’, fantasising obsessively about a life with someone else is a sign that your desires have shifted to someone new. Out of respect for your marriage, your partner and yourself, agreeing to marriage counselling is one proven way to salvage your marriage, and help you move on without causing any lasting damage.
5. Loss of intimacy
If you are experiencing a gradual or sudden absence of intimacy, you need to do something about it. Try spicing things up, or simply confront your partner – there may be an unrelated issue, which could be affecting libido levels. It’s considered the norm for happily married couples to experience a decrease in physical affection – especially if you have kids. The tell-tale sign to look out for is when your partner has lost interest in you completely. Pick up the phone; it’s time to consider hiring a marriage counsellor.
It’s best not to leave these issues at bay for too long. A marriage requires work, love and attention. If you feel lonely in a marriage or you are experiencing issues that you feel cannot be communicated to your partner, give marriage counselling a try – you’ve got nothing to lose.