Most Couples Who Enter Therapy Have Waited Way Too Long!

Today, I was at the Psychotherapy Networker Conference in Washington D.C.  I attended a seminar by the pioneers of Marriage Research, Dr. John Gottman and his wife Dr. Julie Gottman (see my cool picture above).  The Gottmans are pretty much among the most famous in the field of Couples Therapy, so I stalked them for a picture!  They have recently analyzed the data from 40,000 couples who went into Couples Therapy during recent years.  Some of them were my own couples who completed the Relationship Checkup!

Did you know that On average, couples are having problems for SIX YEARS before they even seek help, and in about 65 % of couples, one person is already seriously considering divorce!  Before even seeking help…  I definitely believe this is true, but it kind of makes me sad…

This is NOT GOOD!  I mean, it’s good that people are seeking help but guys, you are making our job as marriage therapist pretty tough if you wait so long and things get to the CRISIS stage.  It’s not that we can’t help at that point, because I have helped many couples to resolve their crisis.  But honestly, others have just waited too long…

Why do couples wait this long?  I would really like to hear your thoughts on this..  Because – really, the stigma for therapy has long gone away…  It’s pretty much en vogue now.  So why wait until one of you is about to leave?  I know so many people who won’t pay for couples therapy but they will take a vacation, then they fight on the vacation.  Does that make any sense?  Why not spend a few days of vacation money or some other luxury to have a happy marriage?  Why not put more value on each other and learning how to communicate?

I am urging you, if you are having problems… please  seek help before the alarm bells are going off and you are in crisis.

As I see it, we need to put as much energy into our marriages and our relationships – including money – as we did when we were courting and engaged.  Have fun!  Do nice things for each other.  And, if you can’t work out a problem (which is likely causing you to not have fun anymore) then, I hope you will fix it before it’s too late!



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