If you and your spouse are an elderly couple experiencing relationship issues, you might want to visit a therapist experienced in marriage counseling for seniors. Many senior couples experience issues in their marriage that weren't prevalent years before. In many ways, marriage counseling for seniors can help when other methods have failed. Before your relationship issues spiral out of control, consider the following reasons for seeking senior couples counseling:
1. To Help Resolve Newly-Developed Sexual Issues
Although many elderly couples enjoy a fulfilling sex life, others experience problems that arise with age. For some couples, sexual intimacy may dwindle during the senior years, due to sexual dysfunction or other age-related factors. Some medications may also play a role in diminishing one's sex drive. When a partner feels pressure to perform, this may place stress on the relationship.
The trained counselor can help couples express their needs freely, opening the way to discussion. This often helps eliminate the embarrassment couples may feel when discussing these issues amongst themselves. The therapist may also help the couples find alternate ways to be intimate, such as connecting on a spiritual or emotional level.
2. Help Keep the Lines of Communication Open
It's not uncommon for senior couples to unintentionally close the door to communication as they grow older. After several years together, one may assume their partner is familiar with his or her feelings or needs. This isn't always the case, however. And when communication fails, problems may arise. A counselor acts as a go-between or mediator, and can help bridge the communication gap between elderly couples.
Counseling teaches to promote active listening between both partners. Listening intently helps deepen the respect and appreciation for each other. A marriage counselor may also point out negative words (spoken out of habit over the years) that cause resentment. The couple will be taught how to replace those hurtful words with positive language. Rather than lashing out with negativity, counseling places emphasis on expressing frustration through positive communication.
3. Learn How to Stop Taking Each Other For Granted
Many elderly couples fall into a trap of taking each other for granted, which often occurs after years of togetherness. Marriage counseling can teach the senior couple ways to show appreciation and stop taking each other for granted. This may be accomplished through encouragement and support, or simply saying "I love you" every day.
Your counselor may also suggest ways to take yourselves out of your comfort zone and experience new things. For example, take a trip together, or enjoy a new hobby, sport, or activity you've never experienced as a couple. This may help you see your partner in a new light.
Conversely, a counselor may suggest you and your spouse try a day or two apart from each other. A longtime couple often needs some quality time for themselves. This may help you appreciate each other more when you're together.
When I first started understanding my anxiety, I realized that I wasn't capable of taking care of the issue on my own. Instead of trying to quietly navigate my condition, I decided to start working towards understanding the counseling process. I focused on finding the right counselor, and then I worked hard in therapy day in and day out. This blog is all about understanding how counseling can help, because I know how much it helped me. You never know, by talking with the right person and tackling your issues head-on, you might be able to enjoy a more fulfilling life.