Relationship and Marriage Counseling – Counselors in Kalamazoo, MI
Arguments aren’t any fun, but constructive discussion and active listening to find a solution can be gratifying…however, that usually takes practice. People aren’t born knowing how to communicate in a healthy way.
But when it comes to communication in a relationship, what’s almost more concerning than constant arguing is when the couple has stopped communicating and instead become apathetic toward the relationship. Similarly, a loss of intimacy is a red flag that things have gone south. Therapy can help.
Relationships of all kinds can greatly improve our happiness and feelings of belonging. However, with relationships also come a significant amount of work. Getting someone to understand exactly how you feel can be frustrating, and it’s unusual for two people to be on the same page about everything in their lives. Naturally, arguments can arise between loved ones when they disagree.
A Therapist Can Help
Many people react negatively toward the idea of discussing their personal relationships with a third party. People often feel uncomfortable involving a stranger in their lives and don’t see why they shouldn’t just be able to resolve issues together at home. In all actuality, most people have at least a few issues with communication, and these barriers can create distance and misunderstandings that can lead to frustration, irritability, and mounting resentment towards the one you love the most.
Everyone has different ways of communicating. Sometimes, we require a different perspective in learning how to understand how someone thinks and talks about how they think. A mediator can provide a much-needed outside perspective that can guide people toward a healthier relationship. From there, they can take steps toward creating a relationship that is mutually beneficial, loving, calm, and fulfills the needs of both parties.
If your marriage is having problems, professional help is best sought as early as possible.
Common Causes of Relationship Issues
Every couple is different, but there are some common causes of relationship issues:
- Significant age gaps
- Marrying/”settling down” at a young age
- Largely different educational levels
- Vastly different childhoods
- Vastly different parenting styles/individual upbringings by own parents
- Vastly different religious/philosophical perspectives
- Vastly different income brackets
- Vastly different moral/ethical values
Differences between people in a romantic relationship can make it difficult to maintain understanding and agreement. However, these things do not have to mean that divorce is inevitable. Many of these issues can be resolved through hard work, compromise, and a willingness to commit to understanding the other person and their unique style of communication.
Effectiveness of Relationship Counseling
Sharing emotions does not come naturally to a lot of people. This can cause a person to turn their feelings inward, and this does not usually get better when someone becomes a part of a romantic couple. It takes a lot of effort and practice to be able to share your emotions with others, even when you want to be able to share those feelings. We are incapable of looking into someone else’s mind, and nobody can feel exactly what you are feeling at the same time. In order to discuss issues and emotions in a healthy way, learning communication skills is essential. Steps must be taken to better know yourself, but also to honestly examine your ability to react constructively when differences or struggles inevitably arise in a relationship.
While not all relationships will work out, it is possible to work through issues in marriages when both parties come to therapy from a place of respect, kindness, a willingness to listen and learn, and a dedication to the happiness and welfare of yourself and your partner. Even the most stable relationship with have rough patches. The key to making them work is to change the couple’s patterns of interaction, emotional connection, and communication when they prove ineffective or in need of an update.
If you are having problems in a relationship, especially if you feel like either partner is “just not listening” and wish to improve communication, please seek help as soon as is possible. The more time passes, the more distance is created in a relationship and the harder it is to get it back on track.
About Your Therapist
Starr Bull graduated from Western Michigan University with a Masters in Couples, Marriage, and Family Therapy. She is a licensed professional counselor and limited license marriage and family therapist. She knows therapy can help couples improve their communication skills and deepen their relationship. For a compassionate ear and sound feedback, give Thriveworks Portage Counseling a call.