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Why You and Your Partner Need Therapy

Here are three reasons why you, and your significant other, may need therapy.

It’s no secret that every couple has their rough patches. Sometimes issues can build up over time. Other times, problems seem to come out of nowhere, and take both partners by surprise. If you’re in a same-sex relationship, you also have another set of challenges to contend with.

Experts say there are stressors unique to LGBTQ relationships that can make it harder when times get tough. If you want to make your relationship work, you and your partner need to discuss going into couples counseling, as soon as possible.

To figure out what you want.

You and your partner know that you aren’t getting along as well as you could be. Physical intimacy happens less often, and you’re not talking or communicating with each other as much as you want. But splitting up also seems impossible. Going to gay couple therapy can help both partners figure out what they want their next move to be.

There are some signs that you may be able to weather the hard times, and come out on the other side. If you still like each other, and want to spend time in the same room, that’s a good sign. If you’re just together simply because you’re scared of the alternative, that’s not such a good sign.

A good therapist will help you figure out if you want to be together, or if one, or both of you is simply too scared of being alone. It’s possible that one partner will want to fight, and the other will want to leave. That’s a heartbreaking situation, but it’s better to find out about that sort of thing sooner rather than later, in a safe environment.

To preserve what’s left.

You and your partner have both agreed to keep fighting for the relationship. That’s a positive step, but it’s not all you need. Many couples reach the point where they love each other, but are exhausted and resentful.

This typically comes out in tense situations. For example, if a couple faces a minor dilemma, like a lost item, or misplaced phone, the tone of voice, and word choice can indicate underlying issues. Responding to the situation with harsh words, and accusations may be signaling that the relationship is ready to collapse.

Ideally, couples will debate a topic a few times, and reach a resolution. But when that feels impossible, a couple may keep revisiting the topic, and getting more and more upset every time. Nothing is really being accomplished when this happens–both sides are just digging in further. They may say they want to stop arguing, yet do little to make that happen. A couples counselor can give you communication strategies designed to dial back the conflict.

To part as amicably as possible.

Couples counseling can also be useful, even if a couple is pretty sure the relationship has run its course. Stress-filled relationships often lead to toxic break-ups. Talking to a counselor about your concerns can help you split up in a way that doesn’t leave behind too much wreckage.

This kind of counseling is especially vital if you have children. There are many couples who vow not to put their children in the middle, but end up doing it anyway. Emotions are running high, and you may feel the need to lash out. But it’s much better to do so in the safe confines of a therapist’s office.

Using your kids as weapons won’t just make you, and your partner resent each other, but it will also negatively affect your kids’ well-being. As they grow up, they’re always going to remember how bad their parents’ separation made them feel. Do everything possible to avoid giving them emotional baggage from this.

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