Marriage is hard work that takes a lot of compromises, communication, and understanding. Even couples who are deeply in love with each other can run into problems. When that happens, sometimes an outside perspective can be valuable for talking through the issues that arise. When couples get set in unhealthy communication patterns, a marriage and family therapist can help them learn better ones. Here are three reasons you might want to seek marriage and family therapy with your spouse:
1. You are adjusting to parenthood.
Having a child is one of the most difficult and rewarding events in many parents' lives. The birth of a baby brings a lot of joy and also a lot of responsibility. An adjustment period is usually necessary. A therapist can help you and your spouse navigate your new roles as parents. You may feel some sadness or a loss of identity as you leave aspects of your old life behind. A therapist can help you find a new normal in your role as a parent. They can also help you address and define the expectations you and your spouse have of one another. Explicitly stated expectations are healthy and help to prevent resentment.
2. You are experiencing a significant loss.
Unfortunately, loss is inescapable in life. At some point, most married couples will experience a significant loss of one type or another. Sometimes this may be the death of a cherished friend or family member. At other times, loss may come in the form of being laid off from a job. During times of loss, it's more important than ever to support one another as a couple. If one or both spouses have unhealthy coping mechanisms, this can make things difficult for the entire family. A therapist can help you work through your grief in constructive ways, so it doesn't damage your relationship with your spouse and family.
3. You are working through infidelity.
Most couples agree to be monogamous when they get married. Unfortunately, nobody is perfect. Sometimes one spouse may step outside the marriage and cheat on the other. If you decide to stay together after infidelity, there can be hurt feelings on both sides. To move forward as a couple, the wronged spouse will need to find it in themselves to forgive the other. Therapy can be a safe place to have difficult conversations that can help you work through and move past instances of infidelity.
If you're considering therapy, contact several services such as Andrea Brandt Therapy.