In between the selfies and date nights, relationships can quickly fall into a routine.
But when routines turn into constant bickering, unhappiness or even anger anytime you see your partner, it may be time to get advice from a professional.
For some, it’s hard to find the courage to go to therapy or counselling — there’s often a misconception that therapy means your relationship is falling apart. And while we often hear how to have better sex or to keep the chemistry in our relationships alive, we rarely spend time thinking about how therapy can help rebuild or progress a relationship.
“Relationships can be so damn hard sometimes — it’s tricky enough finding a person you want to go out on a second date with, much less be in a relationship with,” sex therapist Vanessa Marin told Bustle.
“Then you have to figure out if you both want the same things out of your relationship,” she continued. “One person might want to be monogamous while the other wants to be monogamish. Or one person might want marriage and children, while the other doesn’t. A therapist can help you understand if your goals are compatible.”
Toronto-based relationship therapist Natasha Sharma agrees and adds often, there are clear signs therapy may be the answer. And if you find yourself in the same situation even after professional help, it may be time to part ways.
Below, Sharma goes through five signs you and your partner need therapy.
You’re constantly arguing
“All healthy relationships have conflict, but a good rule of thumb is that if it seems like the relationship is “hard work” chances are there’s too much of it,” she said. Figure out the source of the conflict and the reasons behind it — often a therapist can help the both of you come to these conclusions.
You don’t share a vision for life
When it comes to envisioning how you want to spend the rest of your life with someone, don’t think you can change your partner’s mind over time.
“One of you wants kids, the other doesn’t. One of you wants to travel six months out of the year, the other doesn’t,” she explained. “We don’t need to be carbon copies of one another, but choosing to share a life together means you’ll need to be on the same page about the major things.”
You have additional stressors
Going through infertility or a miscarriage
This is a common reason couples come in for counselling together and should not be taken lightly. “Adjusting to grief and loss, or the process of being infertile is a major stressor for couples.”
You aren’t happy anymore
“It’s the most simple and straightforward answer, but it takes two people to be in a relationship, and only one of them to break it up.”
READ MORE: 8 sex and relationship questions – answered
Therapy can also help you address the issues of mistreatment by your partner or if your partner isn’t supporting you emotionally.
“Remember, even if your problems are personal like you just lost your job and are feeling insecure, or your parent just passed away, not effectively managing your emotional fitness will eventually leak into your relationship anyhow, and create challenges for it.”