As open as we are about relationships in 2015, thanks to the endless sharing via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and others, there seems to be one relationship issue we’re still not ready to bust wide open — couples therapy. Going to couples therapy definitely isn’t as closeted as it used to be, or as shameful; celebrities like Dax Shepherd and Kristen Bell are happy to discuss their times in couples therapy, with Shepherd saying, “In my previous relationship, we went to couples therapy at the end, and that’s often too late.”
But there’s some disagreement about that. A recent article in The Cut about the subject quoted a young woman who said, of couples counseling, “If you need couples therapy before you’re married — when it’s supposed to be fun and easy, before the pressures of children, family, and combined financials — then it’s the wrong relationship.”
So which is it?
Personally, I am a big believer in therapy of all kinds. I think therapy is a useful tool in personal growth. Sometimes, you go to therapy when everything is “OK” and have nothing to complain about. Because I think a lot of people mistakenly think that therapy is only there when thing go wrong or “bad” or “not OK”, but really, therapy is there for you at any time.
I think, also, a lot of people see couples therapy as a false “red flag”, or as a sign of defeat. But it doesn’t have to be that way at all. It’s really all about how you look at it. If you look at it as a useful tool that could bond you and solidify what you have, that’s not throwing up a red flag or waving a white one. Think of it as a medical checkup, as going to the doctor. You’d go to the doctor to get checked up, wouldn’t you?
As for the question of, “how early is too early?” I don’t think there’s any one perfect answer to that. I think it’s a personal decision that two people need to be comfortable with making. But if the question is, “should couples therapy be saved for when the couple is having problems?” I would answer, no. Thus, I don’t think there’s ever a “too early”, but I think there is a “too late.” There is indeed a point where a couple’s relationship just can’t be fixed, which is why I believe certain measures should be taken (like couples therapy) before it gets to that point.
Have you ever gone to couples therapy? Would you do it again? And how early is to early for you?
Photo by Vinoth Chandar via Flickr.
Almie Rose is a writer from Los Angeles. She has a blog, Apocalypstick. In addition to Dating & Hookup she also writes for Hello Giggles, The Frisky, Thought Catalog, and Genlux Magazine. Her book, I Forgot To Be Famous, is out now. You can follow her on twitter @apocalypstick. Her favorite pastime is eating and drinking and sleeping and then eating again.
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