“A great marriage isn’t something that just happens; it’s something that must be created.” – Fawn Weaver.
The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has made the role of family and relations very clear. When the whole world stayed inside, it was the only thing keeping spirits high. From prehistoric times, humans have sought out companionship in the form of marriages.
But just like any other relationship (maybe even more), marriages are all about the ups and downs. Sometimes it’s all rainbows and butterflies, but then there are days when even the seemingly happy couples can’t see eye to eye. It is here that the ancient Japanese art of kintsugi presents a beautiful metaphor.
Kintsugi (‘joined with gold’) is an art form where broken ceramics are mended with gold-lacquer. The cracks that were once formed by the breaking of the pot are beautifully covered in gold seams – making it prettier than the original piece. This art form is like a visual reminder of how vital repair is for our relationships. It takes nothing to break a pretty pot, but it takes courage and love to make it beautiful again, even though it was once broken!
So, if marriages are like ceramic pots, they can be repaired and made more beautiful by some imagination, a little hard work, and a lot of willingness. This article discusses how psychotherapy is like that golden lacquer, joining broken marriages and helping married couples tide over their differences.
The 3 W’s of Couples Therapy – What, Who, and When
In 2020, there were more than 62 million married couples in the United States alone. According to studies, a happy marriage is one of the essential things for over 93% of Americans. So, it is safe to say that almost everyone who has exchanged vows at the altar wishes for a prosperous life with their partners.
However, not all of these marriages manage to reach the other end of the tunnel by themselves. For over 44% of married couples in America, therapy or marriage counseling is the much-needed intervention to mend their relations. Now, that is a substantial number. Almost half the number of marriages fall back on some form of counseling to help them understand their partners, communicate better, revive the lost charm and finally nurse back their relationship.
So, what is Couples Therapy?
At its core, couples therapy or counseling is a form of psychotherapy that helps couples (married or otherwise) come to terms with problems that could threaten their relationship. If you are living in New York City, attending the couples therapy NYC sessions is wise. They are conducted by certified professionals with advanced degrees who are equipped with all the skill sets.
Once couples identify and accept the significant issues in their relationships, the path for healthy two-way communication is opened. By involving a third person (the therapist or counselor), couples often feel they are being heard better. Depending on the personal dynamics of the couple and their issues, therapists often suggest a way forward – by working around hurdles instead of hitting them headfirst.
When we talk about marriage counseling, it is not very different from any other form of couples counseling. In its essence, these psychotherapy sessions have the final goal of saving a marriage from hitting the hay sack. That being said, there may be slight differences in the way these therapy sessions are designed simply because of differences between the working dynamics of a marriage and any other intimate relation.
That takes care of the first ‘W’ – what is couples therapy. Moving on, let us talk about who should go for these sessions and when you should go for one.
Who and when should you seek help?
“I feel like there is no hope for my marriage. Every day feels like one step closer to the end. But I cannot give up. Not YET. Should I go for counseling?”
We have all come across someone who feels this way. A colleague, friend, or maybe you. If you think any of the following reasons/situations sound familiar, you have an excellent reason to go for therapy:
- There is very little to no communication – Honest and frequent communication is the most significant contributor to any happy marriage. This is the good stuff your nana and grandpa swore by. So, if you see your partner and you are not talking enough or not talking freely, stop and assess.
- There is ‘too much space’ and many secrets – Yes, you read it right. There is something like ‘too much space.’ If you see that you and your partner live completely separate lives or keep too many secrets, it is time to hit the pause button and seek help.
- One or both of you have (or are thinking of having) affairs–Now, this is a no-brainer. If you are in a monogamous relationship but fantasize about someone else (both physically and emotionally), it is time to question yourself. Lack of sex is often the biggest reason for marriages to go south.
- You fight over trivial things, over and over again – One of the most significant pillars of a successful marriage is compromise. However, it is easier said than done. If you find yourselves fighting over that towel lying on the floor every day, so much so that you cannot see eye to eye, it is time you reevaluate your relationship.
The Bottom Line
Stress at work, unsaid words, and unmet expectations, all of these reasons can cause disruptions in a marriage. Be it as simple as not remembering special dates or something as serious as cheating, there can be a million reasons to give up. But only one to hold on to. The main goal of any therapy is to tap on this one reason and turn the whole marriage scenario around.
So, if you feel caught up in your marriage, do not hesitate to seek help. Approach your partner calmly, hear their opinions on the matter and then take the first step towards a happier marriage together. Remember, all it takes is that golden lacquer to cover the cracks in a broken pot!