People usually think of marriage therapy as the last resort when it comes to marital problems. A lot of us assumes that only couples with serious marital difficulties should undergo the process. People believe that only couples that do not have other means to solve their marital issues can benefit from it.
But in reality, all couples, whether they are experiencing problems or not, can strengthen their relationship by learning skills taught in these couple therapies. According to family therapists and licensed marriage counselors, they teach skills that couples can use to help address any problems in their relationship.
If people have the right tools to know, empathize, understand, connect and listen to their partners within, as well as outside of conflict, people will have a fulfilling relationship that they are meant to have. Listed below are skills that married couples might benefit from.
To know more about couple’s therapy, check out https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/friendship-20/201709/should-you-go-couples-therapy for more information.
Know the other party’s world
According to research, a powerful predictor of whether the relationship is strong and stable or not is whether they understand the scope of their relationship or not. It applies especially to the husband. One way they can do this is to get acquainted with their partner’s love map.
This map is each other’s inner world – their worries, goals, joys, and wishes. Partners who have excellent love maps each other’s inner world are far more stable and more prepared to cope with conflicts and stressful events in their lives.
Experts suggest that they play some kind of game like asking open-ended questions: name of the partner’s closest friends or what makes them feel most competent. Play this type of game at least once every six months, since love maps change over time.
Their love language
According to most marriage counselors, each person speaks at least one of these love languages: acts of service, words of affirmation, quality time, physical touch, and receiving gifts. People tend to assume that they know their partner’s love language – the things that make them feel significant, unique and happy.
How to have a better relationship? Click here to find out more.
But frequently, they automatically show their partners love and will try to meet the needs the way they feel loved or by doing all the things that would meet their needs. It will lead to distress, miscommunication and disappointment: One side feels like they did not get their needs met.
The other side feels very underappreciated for how hard they exert effort to make their partner satisfied and happy. For example, the husband says that he is working long hours to help provide for the family. The wife will say that she is also working long hours to care for the kids.
When the husband gets home, the wife wants to connect with her husband. But the husband just goes straight to the couch to watch his favorite game on the television. In short, the wife cleaned the house, feed and cleaned the kids, take them to bed, so that she and her husband will have quality time, thinking that it is the guy’s language, but in fact, it is her love language.
The guy prides himself of working long hours, as an act of service for his wife when, in fact, it is his own love language. So, what can the couple do? According to experts, they can take the “Five Love Language” quiz. Then they need to set one day of the week for date night, and bring the result of the questionnaire and have an eventful talk about a specific example of your love languages. In short, talk about ways you want to be loved.
Another skill that is very important in couples counseling involves mastering “the art of receiving and making repairs.” It is very crucial in navigating conflicts according to marriage counselors. When we are talking about the concept of repair, it is less about fixing and more about getting all the things that are important to the relationship back on track. It is where the repair phase comes into play.
The idea is to check the list and identify the stage where it will work and no work when the conversation escalates. This list consists of six categories: the “I Feel,” “I Appreciate,” “Get to Yes,” “Stop Action!” and the “I Need to Calm Down.”
Couples need to review the list and pick at least two phrases from the category. If they heard their partners say the phrases during the argument, they would know they were trying everything to repair the relationship. Couples need to share the phrases to ensure they do not trigger negative responses. And lastly, they need to go through every category, to discard any phrases that can trigger their partners.