Things A Couple Therapy Book Won’t Tell You

Updated November 3, 2022 by ReGain Editorial Team

It seems like you can barely turn on the TV or read a magazine today without seeing the latest couple therapy or marriage counseling 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. 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.

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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 and celebrity 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. 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. This is why marriage help books don't always work. 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. 

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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.

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