03 Jun 2020

BY: Online Therapy

Couples Counselling / Good relationship therapists / Marriage Counselling / Online marriage counsellors / Online Relationship Counselling / Relationship Counselling

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Photo by Vera Arsic from Pexels |Article by Kimberly Yusay

Wondering if you and your partner are in need of couples counselling? We’ve compiled five questions that will help you decide. But first, let’s talk about something important.

3 FACTORS AFFECTING RELATIONSHIP DISTRESS

According to the research of Martha Wadsworth and Howard Markman published in the Behavior Therapy journal, factors contributing to relationship problems can be classified into three:

  • Personal issues – History of mental illness, traumatic experiences from family of origin, attachment style, personality, etc.
  • Couple dynamics – Realistic vs. idealistic expectations, amount of effort put into the partnership, roles within the relationship, and compatibility in general
  • External Pressures – Parenthood, dealing with in-laws, work strain, etc.

With these factors in mind, here’s a set of questions that will aid in discerning whether you and your partner are in need of couples’ therapy:

(1) Are you transitioning into parenthood?

A 2011 study has shown that new parents may experience a drop in relationship satisfaction due to exhaustion, adjustment period, and lack of quality time spent with each other.

(2) Do you argue over money?

As stated by the Journal of Couple and Relationship Therapy, financial difficulties put a train to a relationship. This is because the couple may encounter more difficulties and challenges due to the lack of sufficient income.

(3) Is there a lot of miscommunication in your relationship?

According to a 2013 study, a couple’s communication pattern predicts the outcome of the relationship. Improving it results in a deeper connection and a lack of it can mean deterioration.

(4) Do you and/or your partner have a history of psychological problems?

A recent study indicated that mental health issues can contribute to relationship problems, and vice versa which often contributes to miscommunication in relationships.

(5) Are you co-parenting with a stepchild/children?

According to the Interdisciplinary Journal of Applied Family Studies, stepfamilies are at high risk for stress and relationship discord. It is difficult to negotiate parenting styles in newly blended families. Getting help from professionals can help during the boundary-setting phase.

WHEN YOU SHOULD GET HELP?

A survey published in the Journal of Abnormal Psychology disclosed that marital problems could be directly linked to psychological disorders, including:

  • Bipolar disorder
  • Alcohol-use disorder
  • Generalized anxiety disorder

Moreover, according to the Behaviour Therapy journal, relationship problems could exacerbate:

  • Depression
  • Social impairment (friends and family)
  • Work problems
  • Poor physical health
  • Suicidal ideation

Additionally, it is not only the couple who becomes affected by relationship distress. Dr. Matthew Bambling, a senior lecturer at the School of Clinical Medicine at the University of Queensland, said that it also heavily impacts the children, and could contribute to:

  • Behavioural problems
  • Substance misuse
  • Childhood depression

Researchers Ambika Krishnakumar and Cheryl Buehler also point out that this may be due to the parenting style of the dysfunctional couples which included harsh discipline and low parental acceptance.

WHERE TO FROM HERE?

Couples therapy can help couples decide where to go to regarding their current situation. Unfortunately, not all relationships can heal. So, where to from there?

For cohabiting and/or co-parenting couples, finding good relationship therapists who understand individual psychopathy, family dynamics and psychosocial stressors is important. Furthermore, partners who want safe, private and convenient counselling may try online relationship counselling.

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