ATLANTA - If you are in love, but feeling stuck in a hard place in your relationship, licensed professional counselor Natolie Gray says couples counseling may be able to help you get unstuck.
"Sometimes you cannot fix the problem yourself," Gray says. "That does not mean you're a bad person, or you're not good enough. It just means you need support."
Gray says there are 4 signs it may be time for couples counseling.
The first sign is you feel like you are growing apart.
"You definitely want to pursue counseling, or it is encouraged, if you feel emotionally disconnected from your partner," Gray says. "That is usually one of the times where one or both parties are definitely aware of that, but they want to work on the relationship."
Reason #2 - to get help: you can't talk about certain things.
"It could be family challenges," she says. "We could be looking at some substance or alcohol challenges. You could be looking at infidelity, things that are outside of your relationship, that are coming into the relationship and impacting it."
Reason #3 - to try couple's counseling: you need a relationship roadmap.
This is a common issue for couples who watched their parents struggle or divorce.
"Sometimes they don't have good models for relationships," she says. "Sometimes I don't know how to be a wife, or I don't know how to be a husband, because I either saw it and it wasn't a healthy relationship or I didn't see it at all."
The final hint you may need professional help, Gray says, is you're no longer all-in in your relationship.
"It also could look like you are in a place that you're not feeling happiness, and you want to get the spark back into your relationship, or maybe your sex life is changed," Gray says. "What a counselor will do is sit and interpret and translate and help both parties to be able to hear and see each other's perspectives and say it in a way that (other) person can hear it."