It seems like you can barely turn on the TV or read a magazine today without seeing the latest couple therapy book being promoted. While some popular psychology books have been enormously valuable to many people, they are exceptional much of the time because of the number of unreliable relationship manuals with which they are forced to compete. Some of these are just plain wrong in one or more respects.
Arguing Is Fine
While punching walls and throwing glassware is not encouraged, one of the persistent myths some relationship books keep alive is that the goal of a marriage is to work with zero friction. This is nonsense and sets quite impossible expectations. Even people who share their lives will have different goals, views, and priorities. A couple who never fights most likely has one partner who's never learned to be assertive or represents an environment where dissent isn't tolerated.
Contrary to popular belief, arguing is often a sign of a healthy relationship. It suggests that both parties are comfortable communicating with one another and aren't afraid to discuss the ugly truths from time to time. It is important to argue because it is an emotional release that is human nature. A couple who is in tune with one another and wants to continue their relationship will talk about the issues calmly once the fight has concluded, leading to a happy home and life.
Being In Love Is Only Part Of The Solution
You might think that the question "Are you in love?" would be the first thing to ask when considering couples therapy, the keystone on which everything else depends. But how realistic is this?
A couple's love for each other, or at least the feeling of being in love, can wax and wane many times over the years. In fact, the concept of romantic love is a fairly modern invention, first mentioned in Europe only around the time people started to write down epic stories about knights and maidens. To this day, in many cultures around the world, love in a marriage is far less important than concepts like loyalty and duty. This doesn't necessarily mean that such couples aren't in love, but love by itself won't solve most problems or keep you together through difficult times.
Alternately, the love you feel for one another can be a powerful weapon in solving even the most daunting of problems. The reason for this is that love drives us to be better. If you love a person, you should never want to hurt or abuse them in any way. Therefore, love will cause you to do whatever it takes to solve the problems you are being faced with.
A Failing Relationship Is Nearly Always Both Partners' Fault
Sometimes, a marriage or relationship ends due to factors such as addiction or infidelity. However, even in these cases, the "wronged" party can usually use hindsight to see where they didn't support their partner when they were hurting, didn't listen to them, or refused to make some minor sacrifices for their happiness. While simply blaming an ex may make you feel better right now, not learning anything from the end of a relationship often means repeating the same mistakes later.
A good way to avoid this is always to take a step back and ask yourself what you could alleviate the situation. If you feel your judgment is just too clouded, don't be afraid to seek out the help of a friend or family member; a subjective third party can be the thing you need the most, especially during the hard times in life. Be sure to talk to your partner to be sure that you are both applying this strategy. To be on the same page with one another is instrumental in the success of your relationship.
You Do Not Need Always to Put Your Partner First
Even though it sounds like common sense, it is just not true that you always need to put your partner first in your relationship. All too often, a partner who is willing to do just about anything for their counterpart is ready and willing to bend themselves into a shape that makes their partner happy, even though it is not their authentic self. This can cause resentment and further issues down the way since you won't maintain the façade forever.
The best thing to do in situations like these is, to be honest with yourself and your partner. Talk to one another about the importance of putting yourself first to ensure the happiness of both of you. In some cases, your partner may not be willing to work with you on this front and will instead expect you to do anything it takes to make him or her happy. If you encounter a situation like this, it may be better for you to think about yourself first and foremost and do what will make the two of you the happiest: part ways.
Sometimes A Happy Ending Isn't Possible.
A book or a real therapist should never offer the guarantee of a positive outcome, whether the idea is to achieve it through a few simple steps or one dramatic leap. If too many bad memories have accumulated, or two people in love just aren't suited to each other, sometimes the only solution is saying goodbye.
While it can be difficult to say goodbye to all the positive memories you have with one another, you should think about your current state of happiness and the happiness you want to have in the future. The more time you spend with someone not suited to you, the lesser amount of time you will spend with the person.
Be sure to put yourself first and walk away from the relationship sooner rather than later to ensure that you are both as happy as you deserve to be! The sadness that you may feel when ending the relationship with this partner cannot compare to the joy you will feel with the right person.
Choosing A Good Couple Therapy Book
The first thing to remember is that a self-help book becoming popular isn't necessarily a sign of it being useful to its readers; it only signifies that many people have bought a copy. Even if it comes with a hundred glowing testimonials, it may be that its objective is only to make people feel better about themselves and not necessarily by helping to fix their marriages.
There can indeed be some helpful tips included in these works, but the issues spoken about in the text are general and not tailored to your specific issues much of the time. Consider the idea that the time you are spending reading self-help books may be better spent sitting at the table with your partner and discussing your issues.
Before committing to reading a book (and practicing what's in it), the first thing to do is to investigate the author's experience and find out more about their approach to life. This is essential since several bestsellers have been discovered, sometime after they became famous, to have contained inflated or fictional representations of their authors' real credentials and history.
At the end of the day, bookselling is an industry to make money, and some less than scrupulous authors may create content aimed at those who are desperate to make a change. It is all too common for a couple who feels lost or at the end of their rope to throw their hard-earned money at anything promising to better their outcome, and some authors are more than happy to take advantage of that.
Someone who writes a book intended to substitute for or supplement a course of relationship therapy has no business doing so unless they have some formal psychological training and extensive experience with couples in the real world. Everybody is allowed to have an opinion, but falsely calling yourself an expert does readers no favors at all. This is why it is important to do all you can to protect yourself from these dishonest people by doing your due diligence, should you decide the self-help book is the path for you.
Help That Is Better Than Any Book
Many couples who are struggling with relationship problems are hesitant to seek out the help of a therapist because they think a therapist will take sides or not understand the complex issues of their home life. This is a common misconception because therapists are tuned in to be neutral third parties.
Often, a therapist will bring up a certain topic that is causing issues and serve as a mediator to help you help yourself. Another way a therapist can help is by suggesting techniques to yourself and your partner to handle conflict independently. Many couples who have been through the process agree that once they see their therapist, problems and arguments are much easier to handle than before and that their relationship came out stronger.
The best thing that many couples can do for their relationship would be to seek help from a professional with proven results. ReGain is a great resource for those who prefer to handle things from the comfort of their own home because they have a user-friendly online platform that allows users to connect with a therapist in real-time, on their schedules, and without the inconvenience of traveling or waiting.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What is a good book for a Couple to read together?
Books are helpful in marriages as they help in schools and academic pursuits; they provide objective theoretical perspectives based on research and experience. Books are usually contextual; understanding and applying them would have to be based on the established context, which is why your choice of books should result from the trusted recommendation of good authority. There is a wide range of books available for you and your partner to read individually or together, irrespective of the stage or length of your relationship, and the topics range from conflict resolutions to building the marriage block. Here is a list of books that can help your marriage:
Gottman is reputed for his well-detailed works on marriages and relationships; this book is perhaps the best of his marriage counseling books; it outlines practical principles that deal with factors and behaviors affecting relationships; it also contains questionnaires and exercises for couples to work on together. The book is ideal for every couple, irrespective of their relationship stage.
This is one of the most recognized books on relationships and marriages; the contents have helped tons of relationships over the years, and they are still proven to be relevant today; its stories and practical approaches makes it one of the best marriage counseling books and a guide for helping couples realize their loves languages and how it helps manage their relationships.
This book is an excellent guide for couples trying to figure out what really works in their relationship; it is a result of the experiences of Harville Hendrix, who spent about 30 years as a relationship therapist; this book is definitely one of the best marriage counseling books as it also contains lessons from the failure of his first marriage as well as how he has applied those lessons to his second marriage.
What is the best therapy for couples?
Couples therapy has evolved remarkably over the years, bringing techniques and approaches that were not even imaginable a few decades ago; each of these techniques presents authentic and suitable solutions to the relationship challenges at hand; which is why choosing a type of couples therapy is a delicate decision, and it is usually left to the discretion of trained professionals. Your therapist is well versed in the effectiveness of each type of couples therapy and can easily weigh the strength and limitations of each type against the particular circumstance you and your partner are presenting. By trusting your therapist to guide you in your couples therapy, you allow them to help you arrive at the best decision for your relationship. This process is usually a result of their experience and well-cultivated knowledge of these therapies; trained professionals sometimes combine more than one technique while managing a particular situation. Here are several effective types of couples therapy and how they help manage the crisis in relationships:
1.Emotionally Focused Therapy:
This therapy was developed in the 1980s by two Canadian psychologists Sue Johnson and Les Greenberg; it was designed to see how emotions dictate the responses you and your partner receive or give each other. EFT asserts that when conflicts arise in relationships, it is usually a result of underlying emotions that one of both partners refuses to address. The process attempts to help the partners express their emotions, hoping that it would help them recognize their stance and help them connect better.
2.The Gottman Method:
This therapy results from the research of Emeritus Professor John M. Gottman, who is both an established therapist and an author of marriage counseling books. Using his background in mathematics and statistics, Gottman designed an approach that collates data about the couples even before they meet their therapist. The collated data would help the therapist understand their individual situation and the state of their relationship. The data collated using the Gottman method helps the therapist present suggestions that would suffice as guides for couples as they realize what is next for them and how to work towards it.
3.The Imago Method:
The Imago method results from the conflict between therapist couple Harville Hendrix and Helen LaKelly and their attempt to repair their relationship, resulting in the time-tested marriage counseling book “Getting The Love You Want.”
Imago focuses on helping partners realize the connection between their preconceived images of relationships and how it affects their relationship with their partners. Imago helps partners use the conflicts in their relationship as an opportunity for growth by requiring them to listen to their spouses and empathize with them while both working out ways to sort through the challenge that resulted in their conflict. Imago is perhaps the most popular couples therapy as it featured about 17 times on TV and in Harville Hendrix's guide books for couples.
How much does couples therapy cost?
The cost of couples therapy is subject to several factors, predominantly the type of therapy and the location; in some states, you can get a session for as low as $50 per hour, but the average cost in most states is between $80 and $90 for each session, this may, however, vary depending on the specific circumstances.
While no price is too high for your well-being, counselors are known to provide discounts and payment packages if the process requires more than one session.
Can Unmarried Couples Go To Therapy?
It is a poor interpretation to expect that couples therapy is only for married couples, including marriage counseling. Couples therapy is designed to help partners in any stage of a romantic relationship. However, it is more beneficial to couples who intend to have long-term relationships, not necessarily leading to marriage but long enough to see each other as partners.
Couples therapy can be very helpful in preparing unmarried couples for life after their nuptials; it helps them sort through the bulk of challenges that already exist or are likely to come up during the course of their relationship; these preparations help reaffirm couples' commitment to one another and nudge them towards making the best decisions for their relationship even before marriage.
Is It Worth Going to Couples Therapy
It is alright for you to be skeptical about Couples therapy; uncertainty is permitted when faced with new things. It is also understandable that you should choose marriage counseling books or self-help options over actual couple therapy. Still, you should know that couples therapy presents you and your partner with access to unburden yourselves and receive real-time guidance from trained professionals in ways that no books for couples can help.
The increasing success rate of couples therapy is enough proof of what you can benefit from couples therapy. Based on evolving research on relationships' dynamics, new and extremely effective couples therapy practices are focused on helping couples have better relationships with each other, sometimes bringing them from the brink of discord to rekindling their bonds.
Please don't assume that couples therapy is only for couples who are going through hard times or major life changes; even couples who seemingly have it good are encouraged to go through couples therapy to maintain the balance they already enjoy in their relationship.
What To Do When You Can't Afford Couples Therapy
Couples Therapy has proven to be one of the best ways to manage or even understand relationships, but between the cost of each session and the reluctance of the partners, Couples Therapy sometimes ranks least in the priority for most couples; most of them refusing to seek necessary help until it is too late. This does not change the fact that couples therapy is quite expensive, and despite its value, it would be too much strain on some couples' financial status. If you find yourself unable to afford the service of a couples therapist, here are two excellent options that might work almost as great as couples therapy:
The whole essence of well-written books is that they contain vast information drawn from research and experience; they present the author's well-thought-out position on the topic in focus, making them a worthy replacement for time spent in session with your therapist. There is a wide range of marriage counseling books to choose from depending on the stage and perceived challenge of the relationship. One highly recommended author to consider is John M. Gottman, Gottman is both a therapist and research scientist who has spent years looking into the dynamics of relationships, and his books provide the necessary insight for couples. His book The Seven Principles For Doing Marriage Work is perhaps the best book for couples intending to weed out unsavory factors in their relationships and replace them with the best practices for effective marital relationships. Some books also go the extra mile by providing workbooks, questionnaires, and exercises that you and your significant other can work on together or individually to help you better grasp your situation and even give you a feel of the progress you are making in your relationship.
Workshops provide a more tangible approach to managing relationships; it provides an in-person feel that books do not offer while avoiding the cost of actual therapy. Workshops are also helpful for individuals who consider books tedious or too theoretical; these two to three days workshops help individuals draw from the speaker's wealth of knowledge and sometimes give room for questions that would help direct the answers specifically to the individual's context. The more helpful workshops also offer short-term private sessions with the speakers at subsidized rates.
Does Insurance Pay For Couples Therapy?
Federal law requires your insurer to cover the cost for your mental health; this includes every expense required to manage your mental stability, and sometimes that may fall on the strength of your marriage. In cases of people living with Adults schizophrenia or other conditions that might require the support of their spouses, couples therapy may be regarded as part of their Marriage and Family Therapy treatment plan, which is usually covered by their Insurance companies as long as all required conditions are met.
There are also cases where your Employee Assistance Program may explicitly provide couples therapy, especially where your employer considers their employees' mental and emotional well-being as a necessity for increased productivity.
However, aside from these factors, your standard health insurance is yet to make specific provisions for couples therapy.
What is the success rate of couples counseling?
Couples therapy is not magical; the process is generally more successful when you and your partner put in the hard work, sometimes it requires vulnerability and absolute honesty while trusting that your therapist has your best interest at heart. The success rate in recent years is considerably higher than it used to be in the past; this is largely due to the evolution of the process over the years resulting from the effort of modern therapists and researchers. The work of marriage and family therapist John M. Gottman is one of the most recognized improvements to couples counseling. The Gottman approach, which resulted from his work, is one of the most effective approaches to couples therapy. Among others, the Emotion Focus Approach has also been very helpful in helping realign partners; it has recorded a 75% success rate in recent years, which is higher than the 50% success rate that used to be attributed to couples therapy.