Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"Do my partner and I need relationship counseling?"
How do we know when our troubles are intractable? We've been together for over 10 years and nothing we do seems to help. What should I do?
Long term relationships always take a lot of work. Ten years is a long time to be together. It seems to me that though you have not found some way for the two of you to work something out, that there is still a desire to make it work. If there is a desire to work things out, then you may benefit from couple's counseling. The purpose of couple's counseling is for each person to voice what they want from the other person with a mediator to communicate and (more importantly) interpret this to each partner. The sessions often involve one on one sessions with each partner individually and separate sessions with the counselor and the partners together in one room. Many people have found them helpful, but the success rate is not 100%. Most couple's counselors are not MDs. Many of them have PhDs in psychology and have chosen this area of therapy to work in. Some do not have professional degrees at all and have a certificate in couples counseling. The key is to find someone that you and your partner both like. I recommend that you bring the issue up with your primary care physician. Good luck working things out with your partner.
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