It can be hard to admit when we need a third party in our marriage. We often think of couples counseling as something only for times of crisis or after an instance of infidelity. But the reality is, that going to a Christian Marriage Counselor with your partner can help with communication, deepen trust, and help cultivate a neutral space where things can be shared and talked through. Here are five times couples counseling might be helpful:

Couples counseling for rifts with money.

Money issues are one of the biggest factors that lead to couples breaking up. Whether it’s spending habits, differences in what to save for, or the discussion of whether to have one bank account or two, a counselor can help navigate these tricky waters. Maybe things worked when you and your partner were younger and didn’t have kids. But now you both earn more, and things have shifted, and you disagree over how money should be handled.

Maybe you realized your retirement goals are vastly different or what your spouse spends money on drives you bonkers. Maybe you differ on how to engage your teenagers with money and what you should be paying for. Whatever the issue around money is, a counselor can help you find a way forward.

Couples counseling and differences in parenting styles.

Raising kids is hard. Kids become teenagers and the decisions parents must make escalate. How much do you want to know about their friends? How do you handle social media? When should your child get a cell phone? Are their expectations attached to it? How do you think they should balance school and work?

These are vital questions that can often lead to conflict for parents who don’t take the time to talk things out. If there are step-kids in the mix, things can get ever trickier. A counselor can help parents identify differences in expectations when it comes to parenting styles and help you come up with a plan to parent together.

When expectations in schedules don’t match.

As time goes by, people’s lives shift. We get promoted or take new jobs. We get involved with new friends. Our children pull us into new groups and take up time on our schedule. While a Saturday morning golf outing might have worked when the kids were little, it might not work with how life looks now.

If one of you has changed jobs that shifted your hours at home but none of the household responsibilities shifted with them, that can lead to resentment and tension.

It doesn’t have to be a big crisis, but sometimes it is hard to see why long-standing commitments need to end or we need our partner to do more around the house. If you feel like you are meeting a brick wall when it comes to the reality of schedules and time, a counselor can help you and your spouse come to some common ground.

Couples counseling to overcome previous hurts.

We all walk into our marriages with hurt and losses from our childhood and teenage years. Maybe your spouse recently lost a parent or a job and can’t seem to bounce back. Maybe you’re still replaying something that happened years ago before you ever met your spouse. You’ve tried to explain why it hurts or maybe there are no words to communicate it. Sometimes we just need some help with something our spouse was not there for.

People can get lost in past pain or regret and not know how to articulate it. Sometimes we just need to be present and encourage our partner to get help. A good counselor can help the hurting partner heal while giving the other partner tips and suggestions on how to best be there.

To help deal with stress or anxiety.

We can all admit the last few years have been hard. Most of us were unprepared for the pandemic and life started back up with too little time to process our experiences. It seems our world is more angry, less able to connect, and we take less time to feel what is happening. Stress and anxiety can build and, if we are not careful, we can start taking it out on the ones we love the most.

Maybe your spouse doesn’t realize they are doing it. They’ve become short-tempered, and withdrawn, and seem to exist versus engaging with life. Sometimes it helps to have an outside voice for someone to identify why they are stressed or anxious and what can be done about it.

All these topics are easy ways for fights to start. If things are not approached well, or if someone feels attacked, both sides can miss what the other is trying to say. Couples counseling helps to neutralize emotions and gives both people a place to be heard.

The counselors at San Diego Christian Counseling are here to help. Let us be a bridge between you and your partner and help you both find a way to communicate expectations and find a way forward. Call us today at San Diego Christian Counseling.

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