Written by Kate Pauley
When considering counseling, couples can often find themselves asking one of two questions:
Is this a big enough deal to go to counseling, or, is it too late to fix this?
It can be easy to find reasons not to seek support for your relationship, and some of the most common reasons are the stage of life and length of time in the relationship. We often have a notion that only a relationship of a certain stage or age is “right” for couples counseling. But the truth is, any time can be the right time to get support.
See if this situation sounds familiar:
You and your partner are in a conflict. You really want to figure out a way to fix it so you consider counseling, and then the problem starts to fade and you think it wasn’t that big of a deal and you just move on. Maybe it only happens a couple of times a year, or once a month, or there’s just a little misunderstanding once a week. When conflicts are intermittent, they can feel easier to get past.
Or maybe this sounds more familiar:
You and your partner are in a conflict. You’ve done this so many times you could practically write a script of what’s going to happen next. No matter how many times you’ve tried to do something different, it seems to always end up the same way. You desperately want this to go differently, but you’re not sure it will ever be able to change.
Whether you and your partner have been together a few months or decades, it’s never too early or too late to get support if everyone involved is committed to trying.
With that in mind, here are some things that can be true of a relationship at any stage:
- Your relationship is worth supporting.
- Whether you’ve been together months or decades, it only takes a few repetitions for a pattern to be created. Any couple can use support changing patterns.
- Gaining new awareness of a pattern may make a familiar problem feel like something you’re just understanding for the first time.
- Newer or less established patterns may feel like they change faster.
- More established patterns may feel like they change slower.
- Whether this is your first committed relationship or if you’ve done this before, there is always something new to learn.
- How long you’ve been together does not automatically determine how long it will take to experience change in the relationship.
- Being a younger or earlier stage couple doesn’t mean your problems aren’t serious enough for counseling.
- Being a later life or later stage couple doesn’t mean it’s impossible for your relationship to change.
- Earlier life and earlier stage couples still deal with big topics like fidelity, fertility, trust, and safety.
- Later life and later stage couples still have things to learn about themselves and their partner that are not automatically learned as a byproduct of time spent together.
So if you’ve ever wondered if your relationship is “right” for couples counseling, try asking instead if you and your partner want support in changing your relationship. If the answer is yes, the couples counseling may be for you!
Talk with your partner about what you want to work on and get curious about your goals. You may find more common ground than you expected.
For more information on our services, click here: Couples Therapy
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For more information on our services, click here: Premarital Therapy
For more information on our services, click here: Family Therapy