Much like a new set of dishes that gets scratched from constant use, relationships can also show wear and tear over the years.
Maybe free marriage counseling should be something you register for when you tie the knot. But should it be a free or paid service? So how do you know if your marriage has hit a rough patch or it’s something more serious, requiring professional help?
7 Signs You Might Need Marriage Counseling
An international marriage expert urges you to seek professional help when you aren’t able to talk about your problems. When It’s just too frightening to even bring issues up. Whether from sex to money, or even annoying little habits that somebody blows out of proportion. Then, you need marriage counseling. A therapist’s job is to help the couple clarify their issues and to help them understand what they are truly talking about.
Your Sex Life Has Significantly Changed
Most people feel that when there is a loss of intimacy, there are problems. While this is true, it is also important to be mindful of a sudden increase. Either an absence or a sudden increase of sex in your relationship can signal danger. You have not been having regular or passionate sex. All of a sudden, your partner behaves like a courting lover. Or he wants to experiment with new activities that he has never expressed an interest in before. It could indicate that he is experiencing feelings of arousal that are not originating from his relationship with you!
Holding on to the Past
It might be a good idea to talk to a professional when there has been a traumatic event in your life as a couple. Like the loss of a child or an affair– and one partner cannot let the past go. Whatever the situation, every person processes trauma differently.
A Recurring Issue
One red flag that usually can be greatly helped by therapy is an issue that has been difficult in the relationship from the beginning. But regardless of endless discussions, it never seems to pass. When you see that the same issues are coming up again and again in disagreements, it is a good sign they are not resolved and you're at a sticking point. Seek help to save many years of trouble down the road.
Disagreements over money are one of the top reasons couples find themselves in conflict. If your spouse keeps you in the dark about family finances or feels the need to control everything related to money, it may be time to speak up. You could say, “I want to be aware of our debt, our monthly bills, the balance on our mortgage, how many savings/checking accounts we have, etc.” If your spouse objects, it’s time to see a counselor.
Yes, children are a blessing, but they can also add stress to your marriage. Especially if the two of you are not a united front. Seek counseling if you disagree with each other’s parenting styles and frequently argue about how your children should be raised. Think Katie Holmes– and how she doesn’t want Suri raised as a Scientologist. These are major issues that need to be resolved.
You Still Love Your Spouse
If you still love your spouse, really want to make things work, and haven’t been successful, then consider finding a counselor. You need to seek advice before things escalate and you truly despise the other person. Be a proactive couple who strives to solve issues before they tear at the fabric of your deepest bonds of trust and intimacy.
Whether you choose to seek help or continue down your current path, be aware that counseling does not “break couples up” or even “hold them together.” Couples counseling is about helping the couple communicate better and understand what is going on.
However, because prevention is better than cure, it is a more prudent practice to seek marriage counseling before the wedding. Also, the only reason you should seek free marriage counseling is if you cannot afford to pay for the service. Most experts charge for relationship counseling services. If you're marrying in a church, the counseling sessions are generally free. Across the country, you only pay for counseling after you're married and you need sex therapy in addition.
Where To Access Free Marriage Counseling In Nigeria
- Pentecostal Churches Nationwide
- Address: Mende Villa Estate, Kosofe, Lagos, 100211, Lagos, Opens: 9 AM. Phone: 0807 709 3051 Appointments: marriagematters.com.ng
Resource: Marriage Matters Intl
This article was first published on AfricaParent.com