Why Couples Therapy Is Not Always the Answer

by Marijane DiCandia


couples therapyCouples find themselves struggling in their relationship and one partner or the other suggests couple therapy. They start looking for a therapist and if they are lucky they will find a seasoned professional who doesn’t give too much “helpful” advice or the worst…. vote on if they should divorce or not.


Here are some of the main reasons couples are struggling and naturally want help:

  • All we do is argue
  • We have grown apart
  • We have totally different values
  • We never have sex…no attraction
  • He/she is a jerk, I can’t believe I married him/her


Couples therapy can be excellent, especially when the couple is clear they want to stay together and are serious about improving communication, empathy, understanding, etc.  However, you could enhance things greatly from seeing what YOU are doing, all on your own, to add to the struggle and get clear for yourself what you really want.  It might seem like your mate is the problem so what’s the point. However, except in extreme cases of domestic violence and serious addiction, trust me, your work is cut out for you to do and you don’t need your mate to do it.   In fact, it can be detrimental. 


Start finding ways to fulfill YOURSELF, without counting on your mate to help you or even participate.  Remember times in your life when you were single and happy about some project or goal of your own…tap into that memory and gain back some independence.  In powerful and satisfying marriages/relationships, two whole beings, creating a union, function much better than the old “you complete me” paradigm.  This is a serious mistake so many couples make and will often lead to dependence, jealousy, expectation, competition…and inevitably, divorce. 



  • Do you parent your mate:  as in lots of correction and helpful ways for them to get better?
  • Did you marry him or her with the intention of changing them?
  • Are you a blamer, in general?
  • Do you understand your boundaries and the whole concept of the importance of boundaries?
  • Do you get upset if your mate wants to do a new activity that you have no interest in and try to dissuade them?
  • Are you jealous with no good reason to be?
  • Did you have a loving, functional relationship with your opposite gender parent?
  • Even though you are married to the man or woman of your dreams do you feel something is missing?
  • Are you lonely, even though you have a family and a mate?
  • Do you actually ask for what you want, directly OR do you get upset when your mate is not a psychic as to your wants and needs?
  • Are you often afraid or have dreams that your mate will leave you?
  • Do you have “secret aspirations” for yourself that you don’t pursue because you’re afraid your mate will not approve?


Whew…that’s a lot of questions and I could write many more.  Now, what was it that Gandhi famously said…”be the change you want to see in the world.”?  He is TOTALLY correct.  Do this and you will be on the road to self-actualization and watch as magic starts to happen at home. 


Divorce is something that is now completely accepted and happens “just because”.  Most people who have never been through a divorce have absolutely no idea what they are embarking on and the Hell on Earth that often follows. It is hard to fathom, especially when you are the one who feels you must get out.  It’s so so hard…but that’s another blog post.


Call now for individual relationship counseling in Pasadena, CA if you are ready to do YOUR PART in making your relationship or marriage the one you truly want. 


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