What is your experience with couples therapy?

posted 3 years ago in Emotional
Post # 2
Member
1600 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2019

Didn’t do anything for me and my ex… but I don’t blame the therapy as much as the fundamental differences between us. 

I do believe that good therapy is like a good facial. You’re going to look and feel like crap at first as it comes to the surface but with a good facial and good therapist you’ll slowly look better than ever. That said… a good facial isn’t plastic surgery… so it can be successful and you still may not love what’s underneath like you hoped. But at least you’ll see more clearly. 

Post # 3
Member
1513 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2012

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ktrv927 :  I haven’t been to couples therapy but your post reminded me of something that I think is valuable to remember in long-term relationships: avoidance *is* a valid form of conflict resolution. If you can move on from issues without actually hashing them out, there is absolutely nothing wrong with that! So if your therapist is dredging up things that were previously ignored, and making things worse, *maybe* that’s not the right therapist for you.

One thing that I did find useful (at various points during the 13 happy years I’ve had with my husband) are books by John Gottman. You might want to check them out alongside therapy.

Post # 4
Member
1638 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2019 - City, State

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ktrv927 :  I found couples therapy VERY helpful.  Helped us end our marriage, which is absolutely what we needed to do.  Now I’m engaged to my dream guy!

Post # 5
Member
275 posts
Helper bee

I think couples therapy is amazing! I come from a family that wasn’t healthy and didn’t set good examples so being in therapy is helping my husband understand my strange feelings. I no longer resent him and he has learned what I need and why I still shut down in confrontational situations. We’ve only been married a year but I think it saved our marriage already. And now we’re discussing kids, which for me were previously out of the question. 

However, finding the right therapist is vital. We met with three and decided on one. We just clicked with our therapist and from my own experience I know how vital it is. 

Post # 6
Member
4813 posts
Honey bee

My exH and I went to about 5 sessions and while it was uncomfortable as all hell and didn’t save the marriage, I found it really helped with our ability to communicate in a calm and rational way.

 

 

Post # 7
Member
15 posts
Newbee

Sorry you feel like things are rough right now! My significant other and I hit a really rough patch a few months ago and both agreed to go to therapy together. But when the rough patch hit (semi-infidelity related), we had a 4 hour deep conversation which literally broke both of our walls down to allow open communication. Ever since that heartbreaklead by the big conversation—we are like a totally different couple when it comes to communicating with each other. It was a blessing in disguise since I now see how we truly did NOT communicate well before that time. My significant other is not one to talk about emotions while I’m very much the opposite. So now every week or every-other week, we check in with each other on “how we feel” and have learned how to support each other better. We decided NOT to go to therapy since things have had a 360 turnaround by us just finally being fully honest and open with each other. So you truly have to do what feels right in your gut. If you think you can’t be as honest with each other by yourselves, then go to a therapist. But if you feel the therapist is making communication harder, then do it privately in the comfort of your own home and make a pact of guidelines to each follow to always keep your communication open. 

Post # 8
Member
159 posts
Blushing bee

We tried it for a few months at the suggestion of my personal therapist, who is amazing! I think we didn’t have the right couples therapist though. She kept getting stuck on things that she wanted to be the root of certain problems for us, but it just wasn’t there. Conveniently we moved and used that as an ending to our sessions. From there my Fiance started seeing his own individual therapist instead of finding another couples one, which has been fine. I wouldn’t be against going to a new couples therapist, but the importance of the right one is SO important in progress.

Post # 9
Member
2740 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: City, State

My ex husband was emotionally and verbally abusive. Being in a therapy session with him was like drowning; I would bring up an issue, he would talk over me and minimize it, and nothing the therapist could do would make him back down from what he believed was “right”. Instead, he lied through his teeth to make himself look better, painted me in a bad light, and gaslighted me just as hard as he always did. 

I’m not sure if this is your situation, but… You should never attempt therapy with an abusive partner. In my individual sessions, my therapist taught me how to set boundaries, resist gaslighting, and take steps to remain independent. He also helped me formulate an exit strategy when I left. 

My ex husband refused individual therapy. I don’t know if it would have helped, but without the attempt, I couldn’t stay. 

If your husband is in individual therapy and not improving, it’s time to look for a different therapist or consider other alternatives. Couples therapy could be one of them… I would ask your individual therapist whether s/he would recommend it for your unique situation. Be sure to mention the results so far. 

Post # 10
Member
3900 posts
Honey bee

This is so very true! Sometimes in order to move forward we have to forget the past and live in the now. Setting yourself up to be happy, and to communicate, love, and respect your partner does not always require hashing out the ugly past 

View original reply
valintine :  

We had a terrible time with our first therapist. She pitted my husband and I against each other in private sessions, and never seemed to grasp the nuances of our relationship. We go to someone else now and while at first it did make us feel very drained and uncomfortable, it eventually became more evident what we were both doing wrong and has helped us to move forward. We do a mixture of going alone and going together, so our therapist really understand us as individuals. This has helped a ton with the kind of advice he gives us. I have honestly learned so much about myself and the reason I respond to my husband the way I do, and I believe it’s the same for him. It’s very easy to point fingers at your spouse and see what you need, it’s very hard to look at yourself and reflect on your negative contributions and therapy has helped me to do that. 

Post # 11
Member
763 posts
Busy bee

My SO and I will be starting couples therapy soon, and I am anticipating that it may make things seem worse at first. In particular I think it will be hard on him, since he has never been in individual therapy, and I don’t know how much self reflection he has done on his own. 

The truth is that even though things are ok now, I have some resentments and unresolved negative feelings built up that have not been alleviated by previous conversations, and these negative feelings resurface occasionally and ruin my mood. I have been in therapy since May to try to resolve this myself, but it has become clear to my therapist and me that this is not just a “me” problem but a problem with communication that my SO has to acknowledge as well. And it’s possible he has previously unexpressed concerns as well.

For me the potential discomfort is worth it if it yields any improvement to our communication habits and my anxiety.

Post # 12
Member
22 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: March 2015

View original reply
ktrv927 :  we’ve found it helpful so far I think. We’ve been together nearly 9 years and married almost 4. We’ve had a joint session, an individual one each and then 2 more joint sessions so far. It’s been difficult at times because things come up and it’s hard to not get defensive or upset about things each other are bringing up but I would say it has helped us both to understand where the other is coming from more and start to make necessary changes or adjustments. 

Post # 13
Member
2236 posts
Buzzing bee

DH and I got into therapy when our communication broke down during the engagement period. I think I remember things got *slightly* worse initially, then much, much better.

One thing our therapist remarked on, though, was how glad she was that we got into therapy on the FRONT END of our issues. We didn’t spend years with needs going unmet, feeling resentful, and taking our feelings out on each other. 

Because we jumped into therapy at the first sign of a problem, we were able to right our course pretty quickly and effectively. 

The other key thing for us was our therapist. She does feelings-based therapy. What that means is that you don’t get this over-analytical he-said, she-said back and forth, which can intensify bad feelings.

Instead, she lets one person share an experience, then she invites that person to explore how they felt in that moment, and how they feel NOW, remembering the moment, and once they’ve tapped into the emotional content, she invites the two people to talk to each other.

So MOST of the talking between the two people winds up being around how they are feeling rather than things that happened. Feelings are inherently more vulnerable, and they inspire empathy. He-said, she-said talk encourages ego growth and finger pointing.

A lot will be dependent on the specific issues you and your husband have, each of your abilities to grow beyond deficits, and your therapist.  

Post # 14
Member
1691 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: July 2021 - Glacier National Park-Montana

Find the right therapist.  Someone you both can accept. Therapy is very helpful. 

Post # 15
Member
521 posts
Busy bee

I’ve never been to couples therapy but I’ve been going to therapy by myself on and off for years. With and without insurance. I’ve been considering doing it with FH but does insurance cover it? Usually not right? 

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