How Old is Too Old for Couples Counseling?
When we think of February, we think of Valentine's Day, romance and loving relationships. Valentines are not just for kids and young couples though. Having someone in your life that you love and loves you back at any age is a great gift.
What happens when you and your partner have raised your children, reached the pinnacle of your careers and are looking at retirement and staying home with your partner with some trepidation?
One thing is certain in life: change is the only real given. With all the changes in our lives and environments, life challenges us to grow and change over the years, and sometimes we may not totally recognize the person that our partner has become. The secret to enduring relationships is for both parties to accept that the other has grown and changed, and may have new interests, hobbies and different needs for emotional and physical intimacy than they did in earlier decades. Habits and family roles may have become ingrained, and partners can be vulnerable to stress entering retirement and later stages in life. Identities shift as partners shed their roles as employees, career leaders, and enter into new roles in their community, grandparenting and negotiating how to spend their time together. It may be difficult for couples to talk about their needs and dreams for the future.
The good news is there isn’t an age or time when personal growth stops. Working with a therapist as an older couple can help individuals work through and manage new expectations, ingrained habits and mutually manage conflict in more effective ways. Marriage counseling can help couples learn that their spouse is someone new to discover and perhaps fall even more deeply in love with. Couple's counseling can also help partners learn to negotiate their current emotional and physical needs and dreams for the future. When couples do that, they can enhance positive feelings in their relationship and endure.