Premarital Counseling: Making Sure You Are Compatible

When is it time to seek out couples' counselling?

by Ramona Terry

Romantic relationships are a tricky area of life to navigate. You have to make sure that both of your needs are met, that you enjoy each other's company and that you can work through any obstacles that you might face along the way. This process is easier said than done, and sometimes it takes an objective point of view to really help resolve your issues as a couple, enabling you to move forward and function as a couple should – in harmony with each other. But how can you even know when issues can be resolved themselves and when you need to think about knocking on the door of a couples' counsellor? Here are a few instances when getting some professional help could be the best solution.

When you anticipate a major life change

Life throws curveballs sometimes, but when you know that a stressful situation is approaching, instead of just dealing with it when it comes, it's a much better idea to seek out couples' counselling services to help prepare the both of you for the situation.

Say, for example, that you are going to have your first child together. This should be, and hopefully will be, a joyful thing for the both of you. But the reality of actually having a baby for the first time is that you and your partner will be pulled in all kinds of different directions, and you will benefit from having a strong idea of how this could impact your relationship and the ways you can deal with that.

Counselling isn't only useful when you are having a child. You might want to consider it if one of you has to move abroad for work and you are going to try a long distance relationship, or if one of you anticipates a huge career change that will impact on your finances as a couple.

When you keep having the same fights, again and again

If you find that you and your partner often argue about the same things, this means that you are having trouble resolving an issue yourselves. Everybody succumbs to habitual behaviours, but sometimes getting into these bad habits with a partner can destroy a loving relationship. In this kind of situation, it can be extremely useful to get the view of an outsider who isn't going to take sides. A trained counsellor will help you to realise the reasons behind your current fights, and suggest some actionable solutions that will give you the power to nip fights in the bud.

When you are keeping secrets from each other

Successful relationships are built on trust and openness. If you are keeping secrets from each other, this isn't great for your relationship, but some people are simply secretive by nature, and you or your partner (or perhaps even both of you) might require an extra little push from a counsellor to open up and get things off your chest. Communication is key, so if you aren't communicating for whatever reason, it is time to lean on somebody else's expertise to facilitate a conversation.

When your lives become separate

Sometimes it can be hard to know the healthiest balance of doing things together and doing things separately. Nobody says that couples should do everything together, and actually it's probably unhealthy if that is the situation. But when it gets to a point of living totally separate lives, you might want to question the reasons you are together and why you are in the relationship. This doesn't necessarily mean that it's time to give up because things could get back on track if you have assistance from a counsellor with addressing the underlying issues for this shift.

For more information, contact a counsellor, such as Riviera Counselling Service.