Couples often wait much longer than is good for them to go to couples counseling. They rather quickly develop patterns with each other, many which are good, and some that are not so good. Maybe something goes wrong or badly, and one or both become upset. But things blow over. If they really do blow over and there are no resentments from either, then that sounds like the couple got through a difficult time. But if some things happen and one partner doesn’t get over it, that may point towards a problem. If one party or both keep doing an action that causes a problem, that points to a problem. When one is not being heard or feeling like his or her partner is hearing he or she, that points to a problem. And it is often true, because of caring for each other, that one puts up with these kinds of problems, and that might be ok. Ok, that is, if it doesn’t cause the couple to move apart from each other. If it is causing the couple to diverge from each other, to grow apart, to talk less, if resentments are building, it is a good idea to contact a professional couples counselor.
It can, therefore, make sense to wait a bit to see if things get better. If they are not, it is time to call. If negative feelings are growing, even slowly, it is time to call a couples therapist. If resentments are growing, you are growing apart, communication is bad or getting worse, it is time to make an appointment for couples therapy. Dr. John Gottman taught me (a well know couples therapy author and research) that most couples wait six years to go to therapy. Sooner is better than later when it comes to seeking couples counseling.
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