1. When you’re not talking. Most relationship breakdowns involve a lack of communication. Once communication has broken down, it can be very difficult to get it back on track. A skilled marriage counselor can provide you tools and training to restore effective communication to you relationship
2. Maybe you are talking, but it’s always negative. If your communication style includes anything that leaves one partner feeling judged, shamed, disregarded, or insecure, it probably means you need coaching from a counselor. Negative communication also includes tone of voice, sarcasm, facial expressions and body language.
3. When talking seems too risky. Sometimes one or both parties in a relationship choose to avoid certain issues. This can be anything from sex to money, or even annoying habits that have been blown out of proportion. A marriage counselor’s job is to help a couple find ways to address sensitive topics without fear.
4. When affection is withheld as punishment. In some marriages, one or the other spouse can take out their anger over real or perceived wrongs by withholding affection (often by giving the silent treatment). If one partner tries to act as a “punisher,” it can kill hopes of closeness in the relationship.
5. When you fantasize about (or are having) an affair. Often when there is a pattern of distance between partners in a marriage, perhaps basic emotional needs are left unmet, one or the other partner may be left emotionally vulnerable to attention from a person of the opposite sex who is kind and caring. Whether or not these affairs of the heart lead to sexual intimacy, they can cause great damage to trust in a marriage.
6. When you feel your marriage would be fixed if only he/she would just change. The only person you can change is yourself, so if you’re waiting for him/her to change, you’ll probably be waiting a long time. You may even find that working on your own issues will not only make you a healthier individual, it may change the dynamic of the relationship, possibly motivating your partner to make changes themselves.
7. When you’re living separate lives. If you are tired of feeling that you are living with a “roommate” rather than a romantic partner, it’s probably time to seek professional help for your marriage.
8. When you argue over the same little things over and over again. If you can identify with the phrase “same fight, different day” it probably means that you need help learning conflict resolution skills. Often the fights can lead to other unresolved issues being brought into the present argument. A well trained, experienced couples counselor can provide you with tools to bring this kind of fighting to a peaceful conclusion.