Living with Chronic Pain

5 Reasons to Consider Couples Therapy


The stress associated with chronic pain can affect a couple’s relationship. However, couples therapy can help ease stress and strengthen the partnership.

Five reasons that a couple should consider therapy include the following:

  1. The relationship is lacking affection. Lack of affection can stem from negative emotions, such as resentment. It may also be a sign that the partner without chronic pain is becoming more of a caregiver than a romantic partner.
  2. One or both partners are experiencing negative emotions. The individual with chronic pain may feel misunderstood. Their significant other may feel overwhelmed or resentful. One or both partners may struggle with feelings of frustration, isolation or depression. Learning to manage these negative emotions is essential to maintain a healthy relationship.
  3. Discussions lead to conflict and create tension. If discussions cause tension or avoidance of one another and disagreements cannot be resolved, a couples therapist can provide strategies to improve communication.
  4. Physical intimacy or sexual pleasure is affected. Physical intimacy is an important part of any romantic relationship. However, chronic pain can make physical intimacy more difficult. Lack of physical intimacy or sexual pleasure is a valid reason to see a couples counselor or a sex therapist.
  5. One partner is having an affair or considering an affair. Whether it is physical or emotional, an affair is a red flag that professional help, such as a couples therapy, is needed.

Therapy can help a couple develop problem-solving skills. When marital difficulties cannot be resolved, it is important to seek assistance sooner rather than later to keep the relationship alive and healthy.

Additional resource: Psychology Today

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