Some view therapy as something that only people with problems should go to. Even in a relationship, it is assumed that only unhappy couples need to go to couples therapy. This however is not true. Some couples who are perfectly happy go to therapy as a way to keep their relationship in check and to stop problems before they start.
Even couples who are just starting out are beginning to go to therapy more. They want to hash out small issues that they may have before they become a big problem. Sometimes they just go to get advice and talk to make sure the relationship stays fresh.
The bar has been set so high, these days in relationships, that people feel that they need some outside help to maintain a perfect relationship. They feel that therapy will help them to work out issues before things start to become too complicated. It is almost becoming trendy for those in relationships that aren’t even fully committed yet to seek out therapy. There is a fantasy about the perfect mate, and some are in therapy hoping to bridge the fantasy and reality.
Therapists are seeing more and more couples in their offices who are not married, or not even close to thinking about being married anymore. The marriage rate in the country right now is 51%, which is the lowest it has ever been. According to the Census Bureau, new marriages are down 5% between 2009-2010 and only 20% of 18-29 year olds are married. This is compared to nearly 50% of 18-29 year olds being married in the 1950s.
The idea of marriage scares some people; they don’t want to jump into that big of a commitment. However, it doesn’t mean that people don’t want to be in love. Many are taking their time and figuring out their needs and what is right for them before they jump into anything really serious. This is where the therapy comes in. They want to learn to communicate with each other and know how to solve problems as they arise instead of letting it fester and all blow up at once.
Not everyone is a fan of couples therapy when the couple is not yet serious however. Some people say they are just kidding themselves, or they are narcissistic. One therapist, Julie Nise of Houston, says that people are becoming more and more immature and self-absorbed and that they are just looking for a third party to complain to.
Despite the people who are against the therapy, young couples are still going. With the age of Tweeting and texting upon us, couples are communicating less and less, and often when they do communicate using technology, they barely speak. No deep conversations are done through texting. For couples like this, therapy may help them learn to communicate so that the relationship does become serious down the line.
There are certain relationship milestones that therapy is most beneficial for. If a spouse cheats, and they are married with children, therapy may be able to get to the root of the cheating and help to rebuilding. When dating, cheating is usually a sign that the relationship needs to end.
Some couples get so busy with their lives that they don’t stop and take time for each other anymore. The relationship fizzles and they become complacent. Therapy could help them to slow down, and take a look at how much of their time they are actually spending together, and how much they should be spending together.
Therapy is also good for those who argue a lot, and the small arguments turn into constant tension in the home. It can help them to come to a compromise and communicate their frustrations more effectively so that they don’t turn into arguments so much as a session where they can talk to each other without getting mad and come up with a shared solution.
One more thing that therapy can help with is a loss of feelings. Some couples don’t fight a lot, but they turn away from each other, or don’t get the butterflies when they see their significant other anymore. Therapy can help them to find out why they are having these feelings and hopefully rectify the situation so they can get the love back.