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Three Surprising ways St. Louis-Based couples therapy can level up your relationship

Updated: Mar 31

A couples hugging and smiling appearing happy. Marble Wellness offers couples counseling for relationships and marriages. Marble Wellness is located in St. Louis, Mo.

You've probably heard the phrase "the relationship is the work," but what does that really mean?

Well, it means that just like any other job or project, relationships take time and effort. And if you're not working on your relationship along with your partner, that relationship may suffer. It could end up getting to a place that feels fraught with tension; full of resentment or bitterness; or maybe less intensely than that: like you and your partner are “just roommates.”

Regardless of the intensity of the issue, the bottom line is that it sucks when the relationship becomes a place that is sucking the energy out of you so frequently; that it lacks support or fun or joy; and really, that it feels like a burden.

Often, people wonder if couples therapy is “just” for premarital counseling or when you’re on the brink of divorce.

Those two timetables certainly are appropriate times to seek therapy with an expert on relationships, but they aren’t the only times counseling for your relationship is a good idea.

A couples smiling in marriage counseling/therapy. Marriage therapy can really help improve communication and get to the root of an issue. Marble Wellness offers couples counseling in Ballwin, Mo both in person or virtually.

Couples therapy is like all other therapy: it’s a tool. It’s a tool for improvement, or “leveling up”, which means….it’s kind of always worth looking at as a way to enhance your interactions with your partner.

In couples therapy, you can get specific on where you need to experience those improvements, if you don’t walk in the door already knowing. Couples therapy holds both partners accountable for their actions and behaviors, and teaches you ways to navigate those behaviors so the two of you can build a stronger, more resilient relationship.

Here are three ways couples therapy can help you level up your relationship, so you can grow together as partners:

1. It can identify and minimize triggers

Triggers are the things that cause you to lash out at your partner or shut down during arguments.

When a partner touches a trigger, even accidentally, it can cause a disruption that might seem to come from nowhere. So you must identify them, and then you can navigate them more easily.

A therapist can help you identify what triggers you by asking questions such as, “What does your partner do that makes you feel upset?” and “How do they make you feel when they do that?” Or “What kind of situation triggers these feelings?”

This helps the therapist guide you so you can understand your own triggers, which will help you communicate them to your partner. This in turn will hopefully let your partner be more conscientious about avoiding them in future.

2. It Can Improve Communication

Couples therapy can also help people learn how to communicate better. When you're in a relationship with another person, it's important that you and your partner can communicate well with each other. So often, this means talking and talking, and then talking some more. It’s means sharing a lot. Using precise language. And really moving away from the idea that you can read your partner’s mind, or that they can read yours.

One way for this improvement in communication to happen is to really share: both of you need to be open and honest about what's going on in your lives. If you refuse to share, then your partner may feel left out or excluded from your life. This type of communication barrier isn't healthy for any relationship because it causes resentment over time. Communication is at its best when both partners have an equal voice in making decisions about their future together.

Couples therapy can teach important communication skills like having the hard conversations: eg, speaking up against upsetting behaviors, or maybe even unhealthy ones. And how to do it in a way that isn’t blaming or attacking. Also, how to do it in a timeline that makes sense to both partners.

These communication strategies will make conversations, even the difficult ones, flow more smoothly so there is less conflict in your relationship.

A couple talking on a couch seemly happy and in a good relationship. Communication is so important in a relationship and Marble Wellness is here to help support that. Marble Wellness offers Couples Therapy both in person or virtually.

3. It Can Teach People How To Make Change

One of the most important things that couples therapy can do for you and your partner is help you develop strategies for change.

Change doesn't happen by accident, and it's important to be proactive about getting better. Some examples of strategies for change include:

  • Discussing how best to communicate with each other (for example, if one person tends to plan their thoughts before speaking and the other doesn’t)

  • Learning how to listen more effectively

  • Learning to understand and respect your partner’s boundaries

But one of the best parts about therapy is how it gives you an opportunity as a couple to analyze yourselves, identify your issues, and find new strategies for change to try even when you’re not in a therapy session.

The goal of a couple’s therapist is to give you the skills, open the paths of communication, and then to let the two of you move forward from there, armed with your new knowledge and united in your goals.

There are many reasons why couples therapy can be beneficial. It helps you communicate better, helps you understand and minimize your partner’s triggers, and it gives you ideas for how to create positive change in your relationship. It also gives a safe space to talk about deep issues and can help you focus on things you didn’t even know were causing trouble. Your therapist will help you understand your partner’s perspective and work with you both to find common ground you can build from.

Two people holding hands, united as one. Marble Wellness offers therapy for relationships and marriages. Marble Wellness is located in STL.

If you live in the St. Louis area, and you feel like your relationship is struggling, you can reach out to us. The therapists at Marble Wellness have worked with numerous couples, and we want to be there to support you and your partner as you create positive changes in your relationship. You can contact us on our webpage, and we will connect you with a therapist who will support you and your partner as you grow together.

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