If you’re noticing any of these 5 signs, you might want to get some additional support from a counsellor.
1. You feel like you keep having the same fight over and over again
This is a common experience in many long-term relationships (not just for couples). We have a tendency to fall into patterns with others that leave us having the same types of interactions over and over again. Specifically, if you’re noticing behaviours that make up The Four Horseman ( criticism, defensiveness, contempt, and social withdrawal/stonewalling) you might want to get some support. A counsellor can help you unpack what is happening so you can understand the source of these arguments and put a stop to the cycle.
2. Your partner feels more like a roommate than a romantic partner
When you start to feel like your partner is more your roommate than your romantic partner, and that you’re just going through the motions and co-existing in the same space you might want to seek out a counsellor to help you reconnect. Sometimes the busyness of everyday life can take over and make it hard for partners to feel connected, and sometimes this is the result of individual changes that have led partners to grow apart and seek out ways to have their needs met elsewhere.
3. Conflicts are explosive
Experiencing conflict is a normal part of any relationship, but when fights involve deeply hurtful words and actions it’s time to bring in a 3rd party to help you slow down those disagreements and help you see what’s really going on. Couples need to learn how to manage conflict, not resolve it - you’re never going to agree on everything. A skilled counsellor can help you uncover what is happening underneath the explosive comments shared during a conflict, and communicate from a gentler place ensuring you really hear one another.
4. Frequently feeling misunderstood
Whether or not big conflicts are present, you might find yourself feeling that your partner just doesn’t get it. Or maybe you’re lost trying to understand what’s going on in the head of your partner. If you’re feeling like no matter how many times you talk it through you’re just not making headway in getting along better it might be a good idea to see a counsellor. A counsellor can serve as an interpreter to help you better understand one another and feel more heard in your relationship.
5. One or both of you doesn’t feel interested in physical or sexual intimacy
People naturally have varying degrees of interest in engaging in sex with a partner, but if you experience a mismatch in interest, or that there has been a change that one or both of you is not happy with you might want to explore that further with a counsellor. A lack of interest may be due to the stresses of everyday life, struggling through recent crisis, the symptom of growing disconnection between partners, or the monotony that can develop in long-term relationships when sex with a partner no longer feels novel and exciting.