In case you missed it, in the most recent episode of the Fairest Love Shrine podcast, we talk with Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist Doug Hinderer about how to answer the question: Does My Marriage Need a Therapist.
In short, his answer: YES!
Doug talks about how even marriages that don't have a big problem or issue can often benefit from seeing a therapist for a little tune-up. Over the years things dull, we become used to certain behaviors or reactions, and a gradual hardening of the heart can begin to take place. Taking advantage of a therapist to see some of those small acts that lack love, can make a deep impact on the marriage.
Beyond marriages that need a little tune-up, Doug talked about 4 clear indicators that your marriage might need a therapist.
ONE: You are unable to solve your conflicts.
While all marriages, and all relationships, have conflicts. Being unable to solve conflict might look different for each couple. This could mean frequent conflict without resolution or conflicts that quickly become emotionally charged through raised voices, anger or harsh words. Other times this might look like one spouse withdrawing or shutting down, or constant criticism.
TWO: You are feeling increasingly emotionally distant.
Doug talks about this as a hardness of heart, as mentioned in Scripture. This is a sign to see a therapist since often marriages die slow, imperceptible deaths not an instantaneous ending. Hardness of heart begins slowly until there is a loss of friendship and a large emotional gap between the spouses
THREE: You find yourself thinking more about the problems than the joys in your marriage.
A frequent complaint Doug hears in his practice is that the fun has gone out of their marriage. This often happens as one or both of the spouses begins to focus more and more on the negative aspects of life. This negative thoughts lead to more negativity making it difficult to see the good even when it is present.
FOUR: You experienced something big.
This could be any number of things, such as an affair, an addiction, or a big purchase not discussed beforehand. Doug explains these things require a therapist because this is a big open wound that needs to be treated by a professional. He uses the example of a serious wound that needs stitches from the hospital rather than a simple bandaid.
To hear Doug Hinderer LMFT talk about these four indicators as well as what you'll get out of talking to a therapist AND how to find a good one, listen to Episode 7 of the Fairest Love Shrine Podcast!