Disclaimer: This article is meant to provide general information. For advice related to your specific situation, please consult a doctor or therapist. See our disclosure here.

Considering how times have changed in the wake of the coronavirus, our relationships are at the center of our lives right now. Having a partner can provide countless benefits, all stemming from the support that we can give one another.

But if that support starts to fade or actively begins to sabotage itself, it can make for an especially toxic environment — one that’s difficult if not impossible to get away from. Here are five reasons to seek relationship counseling to reduce the odds of an implosion.  

1. The Stress Is Getting to You 

Big stresses (e.g., not able to afford rent) and tiny stresses (e.g., not being able to find your favorite cut of steak at the grocery store), can all begin to mount. But as difficult as it is to remember in the heat of the moment, these problems have nothing to do with your partner. Relationship counseling can help you separate the issues, so you can cope with them without conflating them. 

2. When You’ve Stopped Talking 

Couples who become so frustrated with each other may just avoid communication to avoid the possibility of a fight. This makes for a precarious situation, especially if the undertones of hostility can be felt nearly everywhere you turn. A breakdown in chitchat and conversation alike signifies a much bigger problem that will benefit from an unbiased party. 

3. When You Think It’s the Other Person’s Fault 

It’s easy to assume that you’re doing the right thing in the face of a relationship problem, but there’s much more to it than this. People generally don’t change unless they absolutely have to, and even then they might not change quickly enough. The person that you chose may not be perfect, but neither are you. Working with one another to adjust both party’s behavior is the best way out of the conflict maze. 

4. You’re Reliving Past Conflicts 

You don’t necessarily have to be reliving major conflicts with your partner, you may be doing this solely in your head (and getting all worked up in the process). Maybe you had a major fight about finances a few years ago, and you’re starting to feel even more justified in your position now that you’ve felt the strain of the economic collapse. These problems won’t resolve themselves if you don’t start opening up about them. 

5. When One Partner Is Acting Like a Parent 

From controlling the finances to punishing the other person, there should be a sense of balance within the relationship. If one person is withholding affection to punish the other, making all the major decisions, or dominating the conversations, it’s a good time to correct the imbalance.

Relationship counseling won’t fix your partnership overnight, but it can give you the tools you need to start putting everything back in order. Whether it’s in-person or through a virtual platform, you’ll get to be heard by a neutral professional that cares about the well-being of your union.