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Couples Therapy: The Best Investment You’ll Ever Make

Couples therapy session with psychologist in Columbus, Ga

We invest in homes, cars, boats, stocks, technology, education, training, couples therapy… Wait, what? Couples Therapy? How does that fit into this list?

Because…Couples Therapy is THE BEST Investment

Yes, we’re a society that invests a lot of time, money and resources in all kinds of material things, from homes, cars, boats, real estate, retirement planning, and technology. We also invest in education and training for our careers. But my 34 years of experience as a marriage and couples therapist has taught me that NONE of that means anything if our marriage or couple’s relationship is suffering. Yet, it’s less common for couples to prioritize INVESTING IN COUPLES THERAPY! And when they do, it’s often when their relationships are in serious trouble, and almost too late.

We have training for everything today. Go to YouTube and you can find a “how to” video for anything you’d like. And, yes, you can also find couples relationship skills videos on YouTube now too. (I just did a search and was surprised by what I found!) Most of these focus on communication skills. This can be helpful and many of these videos have quite a lot of views. But, there’s a problem with couples communication training.

Here’s the thing. The most recent findings from the Gottman Institute give little credit to “communication skills” in helping establish a successful marriage or couples relationship. (The Gottman Institute is the place doing the best longitudinal studies on the success and failure of marriage). In fact, even the presence or absence of couples’ conflict does not affect the success or failure of the marriage. Not what you would expect, right?

The most important factors in the success of marriage or couple’s relationships are these:

  1. The man’s ability to accept influence from his partner
  2. The woman’s ability to moderate her approach to seeking influence
  3. The couple’s ability to repair from the damage of conflict – it takes 5 positive interactions to repair the damage of one negative interaction

Now, to really get into the deep and complicated issues listed above you need a highly trained, experienced and competent marriage and couples therapist to take you through this journey. This is not a journey most couples will venture into on their own. Nor should they try. It’s deep, sometimes dark, rich, and complex, and like entering a thick jungle. You need a guide. With an experienced guide, the journey will take you to a level of couple’s satisfaction like you have never known. It’s what I love most about my work. Seeing couples transform their relationships into true loving partnerships.

I promise you, if your marriage or couples relationship is broken, lost or battle fatigued, everything else in your life will suffer too. I see this in all the couples I have worked with, thousands by now, most of whom wait until they have lived in marginal, broken marriages and couples relationships for years. Yet, like everyone else, they have acquired a wealth of material assets they have invested their time and money into, even when going into debt to do so.

Think of this. If your car breaks down and you don’t know car mechanics, you take it to a skilled mechanic. If your electricity goes out, you call an electrician or the power company. If you break your arm, you go to the ER. To file a complicated tax return, you go to an accountant. To take expert family photos, you hire a photographer. You get the point!

Your marriage or couples relationship deserves the very best treatment you can give it! Bottom line. No exceptions! But, we are simply not a culture that thinks this way. Not yet. We get licenses for everything. Most licenses require a considerable amount of education and training. Yet, you can get a marriage license with no training or education at all!! Isn’t this shocking! The most important relationship you will ever enter into and there is absolutely no preparation or training for it.

We can learn great life lessons from people at the end of their lives. If you’ve ever been with a dying person who can still communicate, you know that what matters most to them at the end of their life is not the material resources they’ve acquired but the relationships they cherish and value.

So, why not celebrate Valentine’s Day every day! Not in a material gift giving sense but in the priority you place on maintaining a quality connection with the one you love. If your marriage or couples relationship is damaged or lost from your radar, make an investment in healing it. See this investment like the others you’ve made in the things that you value.

And, remember that seeking marital or couples therapy is an investment in the long-term health of your relationship. A healthy marriage or couples relationship is THE foundation for every other joy life has to offer. The sooner you make this investment, the easier it will be to reap the rewards. People in satisfying marriages and couples relationships live longer and healthier lives. Now, that’s worth investing in!

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