Couples Therapy—Counseling for Relationships in Fayetteville, NC
Each season, six celebrity couples move into a house together and work through their relational problems with a team of therapists in VH1’s Couples Therapy. This reality TV show focuses upon the drama of being in a couple—will the partners stick together or will they split? For many people, however, this question is not just drama for a reality TV show. Many ordinary couples are struggling in their relationships. Maybe their partner has cheated or maybe the busyness of life has dampened their love. Whatever the case may be, every couple faces challenges at some point in their relationship. It is normal to struggle. It is also normal to need help. Couples therapy is not just for reality TV, it is for real-life, ordinary people. More and more couples are reaching out for help when they hit roadblocks, and they are going to couples counseling.
“Nobody can predict the future. You just have to give your all to the relationship you’re in and do your best to take care of your partner, communicate and give them every last drop of love you have. I think one of the most important things in a relationship is caring for your significant other through good times and bad.”
Nick Cannon is right: There are no guarantees in a relationship. Some couples make it, and others do not. Before making that difficult decision, giving your best to the relationship is important. Sometimes, giving our best means finding help. Caring for a significant other during good times and bad is a great goal, but it can be hard to fulfill in reality. It is okay to need help. More and more partners are going to couples counseling when their relationship experiences turmoil.
The staff at Thriveworks Counseling in Fayetteville, NC provides couples therapy. We understand that being together takes work. No relationship is perfect, but working through those challenges is often worth the effort, whether the couple decides to continue their relationship or not.
4 Toxic Relationship Problems
Psychologist Dr. John Gottman famously studied couples, how they interact, and which relational patterns set them up to split up. He identified four toxic relationship patterns that he labeled “The Four Horsemen” because when one or more are present, the couple’s relationship is often in serious trouble. These toxic behaviors can be recognized and changed. What are these toxic behaviors? Stonewalling, defensiveness, criticism, and contempt. Here is what they look like in real life.
- Stonewalling — Instead of moving toward each other, partners can ice each other out at the slightest sign of tension. This can look like ignoring a problem, denying it, or minimizing it. Issues get swept under the rug, so to speak. When problems are ignored, they grow. What starts out as something small can escalate when stonewalling is involved.
- Defensiveness — When individuals within a couple shift responsibility for their own thoughts, feelings, choices, and actions upon others, they are often defensive. Blame is a red-flag for defensiveness. Instead of accepting the consequences of one’s own actions, defensiveness blames other people or circumstances. When confronted with a short-falling, defensiveness may respond by saying, “You are being unreasonable. My day has been crazy. How could you even bring that up right now?”
- Criticism — No one is perfect. It is normal for partners to be frustrated with each other, and it is healthy to voice those critiques and complaints. However, critique and criticism are two distinctly different ways of communicating about a short-coming. Critique brings up an issue and focuses upon the problem. Criticism attacks the person. Criticism sounds like, “You are careless and inconsiderate. I had no idea you withdrew that money from the account.” Critique sounds like, “When I saw money missing from our account, I did not know why it had been withdrawn. I felt scared. I would like to talk about the money.” The difference is dramatic. Issues can be addressed without couples attack each other.
- Contempt — Healthy partners treat each other as equals. Contempt, in contrast, is demeaning behavior toward another. Contempt demeans and disrespects and makes someone feel less than. Contempt looks like mocking, eye-rolls, and sarcasm. Contempt uses shame, and it may be the most toxic of the four horsemen.
Scheduling an Appointment at Thriveworks Fayetteville for Couples Counseling
If you recognize these behaviors in your relationship, know that they can be reversed. When partners are willing to acknowledge the unhealthy behavior and make changes, their relationship often improves. In many cases, a couples therapist can guide that process. In couples counseling, many partners improve their relationship by learning to…
- Build their relationship upon appreciation. When partners see each other for who they are, instead of who they are not, gratitude can be a defining mark of their connection.
- Accept personal responsibility. Adults own their choices, thoughts, feelings, attitudes, and actions. Each individual member of the couple must take responsibility for themselves.
These are just two of the many benefits couples counseling may bring. If you are ready to reach out for help, consider calling Thriveworks Fayetteville. Our staff offers couples therapy, and we have appointments available. When you contact our office, you and your partner may have your first appointment the following day. We accept many insurance plans, and we offer weekend and evening sessions.
Let’s work together for a better relationship. Call Thriveworks Fayetteville for a couples therapy appointment.