Couples Reveal Their ‘Aha’ Moments In Couples Counseling

Therapy helped us understand that no matter how much we think we know about one another, there is always more to discover.’

Couples therapy can be intense and uncomfortable at first: Inevitably, there are awkward pauses. There are revelations that are hurtful to hear and bursts of anger. And all of this while a third party listens.

But eventually you and your partner get into the swing of things at your therapist’s office ― or the Zoom square you’re sharing, if it’s teletherapy.

Even better, you start to learn fundamental things about your relationship and the way you and your partner engage with one another: Maybe you learn about attachment styles and realize that you’re anxiously attached while your partner is avoidant, which has caused a lot of misunderstanding and strife in your relationship. Or perhaps you learn to ask “Do you want comfort or solutions?” when discussing something that bothers one of you.

“Aha” moments and lessons like that can be game changers in relationships. Below, married couples who’ve attended marriage therapy share their “aha moment” and talk about how it changed their relationship for the better. (Their responses have been edited lightly for clarity and length.)

“We learned how to fight without tearing each other down.”

“My husband and I have been married for seven years and became first-time parents during the thick of the pandemic. No visitors were permitted in the hospital, and family couldn’t visit as they sought vaccinations. So when couples with new babies usually have their village to support them, it was just the two of us. Becoming new parents is one of the most stressful events in the best relationship. The isolation of parenting during COVID magnified the stress. As I fell more in love with my baby, my marriage was slowly crumbling. Our sweet baby wasn’t the only one crying and screaming; we joined her voice in our home, fighting each other. Our conflict resolution differences under stress and sleep deprivation became magnified. We were wired to address conflict in very different ways in our lives.

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