How to Help Someone Deal With Relationship Struggles

Is someone close to you experiencing relationship struggles? It can be tricky to know how to help people out with relationship struggles since relationships are so personal and meaningful.

However, we know that many people experience relationship struggles. It’s just a part of life. Even couples feeling pretty hopeless have the possibility of finding a stronger, more loving relationship.

One of the reasons we love being Couples Therapists is because it is so amazing to witness a couple going from hopeless and contemplating divorce to finding deep, fulfilling love again.

When couples work through their relationship struggles and come out on the other side committed to their relationship it’s inspiring.

You might feel unsure how or whether you should be involved in their relationship struggles, even if it’s to support someone close to you. There are things that you can do to be there for the people in your life, and also some things that might not be so helpful to the couple. So, if someone in your life is struggling with their relationship, here are some ways you can help: 

Listen to them when they talk about their relationship struggles

Above all, listen to them. Empathize, validate, and seek to understand. Let them know you care and want to support them. Having relationship struggles can be very isolating. 

Don’t gang up on their partner

Relationship struggles happen because couples get caught in negative cycles involving both partners. Most likely, both people are hurt in some way by what’s been happening in the relationship. Finding fault has never been an effective way to improve relationships and can make things worse.  

Encourage them to work hard and get support through their relationship struggles

Be encouraging to them to work on their problems and get support. Relationships with problems need work. The problems won’t just go away on their own.  

Be human

For the most part, you’ll just want to be a good listener. However, if you have struggled in your relationship or overcome a rough time, feel free to share one or two stories. If you have been to therapy, share that too. There is still much stigma around therapy in general, and many couples struggle with the false belief that if they need therapy, there is something fatally wrong with their relationship. 

Help them find a good couples counselor

Good couples counselors specialize in couples counseling. Just like you wouldn’t see a dentist or family medicine doctor to replace your knee, struggling couples need a specialist in relationships.     

Couples counseling is not easy and requires advanced training to be proficient. The best couples therapists will have invested in their training far beyond the class or two required in their graduate program. Here at Thrive, we specialize in helping couples and we’re passionate about it. We never stop honing our skills with couples.  

You can search for one in your area using the therapist finder tool on ICEEFT.com. If you’re in the Denver or Greenwood Village area, we would be happy to work with you. Contact us or schedule online here

Be generous

Give them a good book for couples. We recommend Hold Me Tight by Dr. Sue Johnson, based upon Emotionally Focused Therapy.  Offer to babysit their kids so they can go to therapy together.  Spend time with them as a couple doing healthy, fun things. Be generous in your support of their relationship.  

If you are experiencing relationship struggles with your partner, schedule a counseling session with one of our Denver relationship therapists today!

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