People attend couples counseling for a variety of reasons. Sometimes, it might feel like your marriage is on the brink of collapse. Other times, you may need more help communicating.
But the skills you learned at couples counseling need to stay with you through your everyday lives to be effective.
Keep in mind that some of the main objectives of couples counseling are to help you visualize and improve the life you want to build together. That takes more than just a few counseling sessions. It takes work at home.
Following are ways you can make the most of the skills you learned at couples counseling?
Stop Playing the Blame Game
One of the skills you learned at couples therapy should have been about being on the same side as your partner. You play for the same team, even if it doesn’t always feel like it.
But, that’s an important thing to keep in mind throughout your day-to-day lives. It’s especially useful when you disagree on something. It’s easy to shift all the blame on your partner or to think they disagree with you because they’re against you.
Arguments are okay, and they can even be healthy in a relationship when you navigate them well. By looking at things from an objective standpoint, you’re less likely to see your partner as the enemy.
Be Open and Vulnerable
Communication is essential to any relationship. But, showing emotion and being vulnerable with your partner is another strong key. During couples counseling, you probably learned how to bring out some of your feelings, so you could effectively communicate them.
If you aren’t willing to be emotionally available with your partner, it can lead to a lack of trust in your relationship. It can also cause your partner to feel insecure about the relationship, as though you’re keeping things from them.
You might have amazing moments of opening up in couples counseling. But, those breakthrough moments aren’t enough to sustain your relationship. You have to put them into practice when you’re on your own.
Focus On Your Strengths
Within couples counseling, you’ll do more than focus on the weak spots in your relationship. You’ll also focus on your strengths. It’s a good idea to think about your strengths, too, and how they have a positive impact on your relationship.
Thinking about those strengths when you’re out of couples counseling isn’t always as easy.
But, if you can continue to focus on your strengths, especially in times where it feels like your relationship is falling apart, you’ll develop resilience. In essence, your relationship can become even stronger.
Do You Still Need Couples Counseling?
The skills you learned at couples counseling are meant to stick with you long after you leave your sessions. Though it’s not always that easy. To make the best of those skills, you both have to be willing to put in the effort every time you learn something new.
Attending couples counseling doesn’t mean your relationship is doomed. It’s a common misconception that your relationship needs to be falling apart for couples counseling to be effective. If you feel like you’re in a rough patch or you want better communication between you and your partner, counseling can help.
If you want to learn more about how couples counseling can help you and you live in the East Bay area, feel free to contact me.
Together, we can work on the right skills to rebuild and reconnect your relationship so that you can use them every day. When you’re committed to doing that, your relationship can end up being stronger than ever.