Your relationship — if you are being honest — has been limping along for a while. Neither of you seems happy but no one is really talking about it. Instead, you go about your daily routines, feeling dissatisfied, misunderstood, and lonely. You want something to change but you don’t know if it’s worth it to work on all of your relationship issues. Half the time, you fantasize about walking away from it all — no looking back.
You have a lot of questions. Could counseling help? Or would it just be an exercise in futility? And do you really want to hear and have to deal with your partner’s list of critiques?
No one can answer the question, “Is my relationship worth it?” except for you. But to fully answer, you need the opportunity to sort through your own thoughts and feelings. You need someone to listen to you, and not automatically think about your partner’s needs, too. This is why many people take the step of finding an individual therapist before they seek out couples counseling.
A marriage and family therapist who sees you and your partner as a couple is working on behalf of your relationship. Her client is the couple, not you personally. There is a lot of value in this stance when both partners are willing to work on the relationship issues; you want a coach who will help you both and will serve as a cheerleader for a healthy partnership.
But when you have doubts, are confused, or are weighing whether or not you actually want to stay with your partner or spouse, you would benefit from seeing a therapist whose interest and loyalty is aligned with you and your well-being. Your individual therapist can support you, challenge you, and help you reach some clarity — all in a private setting. Then you can take that new set of tools and insight and apply it to either working on your relationship or doing the hard work of moving on.
If a break-up is in your future, your personal therapist can work with you whether you stay or go. Your couples therapist’s role, though, may be done since there is no longer a relationship to treat. An exception to this may be when separating parents are committed to working on a co-parenting relationship. In this case, continuing joint (not couples) counseling can be really helpful.
At Nova Terra Therapy, we work with individuals on their relationship issues. It can really help prep you for efficient and effective work in couples counseling if you have had some individual sessions dedicated just to you, your feelings, and your thoughts. We also have excellent referrals to offer for area marriage and family therapists when and if you are ready.
Want to explore your feelings about your relationship? Please call us at 571-386-0168 or schedule an appointment online. We look forward to working with you on a happier, healthier tomorrow.