Let’s face it, maintaining a long-term relationship is hard work. Just like that favourite plant in your living room that needs the right amount of sunlight and water, relationships require care and attention. Couples therapy may be required when that plant has withered over time from lack of attention; when communication is hard and perhaps always has been; or when external factors send the relationship crashing to the ground. But is couples therapy really worth the time and money?
Love stories are amazing. But the real story begins after the first flush of romance, when the honeymoon period is over. As two lives intertwine, the differences often become more evident than the similarities. Add everyday life stressors to the mix and it’s no surprise that cracks in the relationship appear over time. We begin to focus more on what’s NOT working than on what is, and we forget why we ever came together.
A lack of communication is the most common complaint. An issue arises and partners don’t know how to discuss and resolve it in a way where all parties feel heard and understood. Discussions become a battlefield where each is firing bullets from behind their own shield.
Couples therapy provides a space for partners to have repairitive conversations and to learn how to resolve their issues as a team rather than as enemies.
It’s All About Commitment & Readiness
Let’s be clear: couples therapy isn’t a magic wand, it’s more of a roadmap. And like any journey, the trip becomes worthwhile if both travellers are on board and eager to explore. Being open and committed means you’re not just looking for quick fixes but are genuinely invested in understanding your partner and yourself better.
Very few relationships notice significant change after two or three sessions. To fundamentally change the patterns and hurts that have developed over a long period of time requires an investment of time and finances in your relationship. It also requires readiness. Sometimes one partner will come into couples therapy because the other has given them an ultimatum, but they are not ready. Others will come feeling burnt out and not in the right emotional place to work on the relationship. In these cases therapy often doesn’t help. if you are considering couples therapy it’s important to be on the same page as your partner regarding readiness and commitment to the process.
Couples Therapy is Not Mediation
Couples will often come into therapy with one or several big issues they disagree on. Unwittingly, each may hope that the therapist will take their side and they will be proved right in front of their partner. But couples therapy is not mediation. If a couple always needs a mediator to be present to resolve their issues, they will never learn how to have healthy and effective communication alone. At Safe Haven Counselling we help couples change the way in which they relate to one another, rather than mediating quick fixes. This takes time and a willingness to take what you learn in the therapy room and apply it at home.
Relationships often struggle due to conflicting attachment styles and needs. We help you to understand each other’s needs and attachment styles so you can work as a team facing external issues together.
The Returns are Immeasurable
While couples therapy is an investment, the returns are beyond tangible measures. For many of us, our relationship with our partner is a top priority. Think of the money you spend to run and maintain your car—my guess is your car is not your priority in life. But as with maintenance on your car, you don’t do it every few years or as a one off expenditure; it is consistent and ongoing.
Learning how to communicate differently with your partner and to deeply understand their inner world is the key to lasting change. It takes time to learn a new way of relating to one another but the returns are immeasurable.
Making the Decision
Couples therapy is like signing up for a relationship masterclass. It’s a space to learn, grow, and rekindle. So, if you’re wondering whether it’s worth the time and money, think of it this way: you’re investing in a journey to reignite your love story, chapter by chapter. If you would like to learn more about relationship counselling, book a free consultation with one of our therapists today.