Kennon Rider – a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist – answers a couple’s question regarding their relationship problems. ‘Ask Your Doctor’ is a GNC Facebook initiative that answers fans questions related to Neurology, Psychiatry, Psychology and Counseling for free.
Dear Couple Counsellor,
We are a couple married since 8 years living in Dubai. We are having relationship problems since approximately 10 month which are getting worse. The problems we are talking about are not the small arguments every couple has to deal with from time to time. By now we reached a point where we do not know how to continue. When should we go to see a counselor? How do we know when it is time for a couple therapy?
Mary and Alfred*
Dear Mary and Alfred,
almost everybody who is married gets stuck sometimes – that is, they have done what they know to do to try to solve a problem. Usually, this works, but sometimes it doesn’t and when it doesn’t it would be useful to get a therapist involved. A new perspective and some suggestions for behavior changes are often all it takes to get things on the right track again. The danger is to wait too long, while negative feelings, attitudes and behaviors become habitual. Then the work of a therapist in repairing the marriage is more difficult. So, sooner is better than later, in most cases. Think of it like getting going to the dentist. Would you wait until the pain is unbearable, or would you go when the symptoms are less severe but are pointing in a bad direction?
Dr. Kennon Rider
*Names are changed due to confidentiality reasons