Tuesday, February 4, 2014

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Warning Signs of Troubled Relationships

CoupleMany couples having problems in their relationships wait too long before seeking professional counseling. Relationship distress has a way of building over time as the bond between partners erodes with continued conflict. Minor problems that are not successfully resolved may resurface under periods of stress. Partners find themselves repeating unhealthy patterns but feeling stuck, knowing that something is wrong but not knowing how to change it.

At what point should a couple seek counseling? The answer will depend on the couple; however, there are some advantages to addressing relationship distress early. A couple who seeks help earlier is likely to have a stronger foundation on which to build. It is may also be easier to break out of unhealthy interaction patterns and acquire new relationship skills.

Debra Manchester MacMannis, LCSW, author of Parenting Tips on the PsychCentral Blog Network, shares seven warning signs that may indicate problems in marriages and other intimate relationships that should be addressed. The warning signs include:
  1. Realizing that one no longer feels warn or affectionate with one's partner
  2. Not creating sufficient time to engage in enjoyable activities together
  3. Significant reductions in the frequency of sex
  4. One or both partners stops taking care of themselves
  5. Blaming one's partner for feelings of unhappiness
  6. Feeling lonely even in the presence of one's partner
  7. Beginning to feel contempt towards one partner
MacMannis notes that even if one believes that all seven warning signs are present in one's relationship, it is not necessarily too late to benefit from counseling.

The Community Counseling and Assessment Clinic provides couples counseling for partners experiencing relationship distress, as well as those interested in strengthening their relationship and learning healthy relationship skills.