For better or for worse, therapists and psychologists have a sixth sense–like ability to cut through the noise and pinpoint the underlying truth. This can be especially enlightening when it comes to couples therapy, given that long-term partners are in desperate need of some direction and clarity. Below, three marriage therapists and psychologists identify the eye-opening things they can glean about a couple after only one session:
They can tell when third parties are more than “just friends.”
“We can tell when spouses are already in love with other people. The tell-tale sign? When they adamantly defend ‘friendships’ that their partners say have been intrusive and or harmful to their relationships. When you love your spouse and want to keep your relationship from splintering, you acknowledge their desperate requests over the other person.” — Laurel Steinberg, a New York–based sexologist and professor of psychology at Columbia University
They know if one partner is already out the door.
“It’s not so much that they’ve considered the legal process of dissolving a marriage―it’s that they’ve envisioned a future without their partner. Instead of focusing on protecting and saving their marriage, a spouse begins to focus on protecting themselves and their language starts to become more individually oriented. Couples therapy can’t be successful without both partners buying into the relationship for at least for the foreseeable future.” ― Alicia H. Clark, a psychologist based in Washington, D.C.
They know when one spouse in an enabler.
“You know one partner is an enabler because that person answers questions for the other and defends behavior. When I ask something like, ‘Do you drink every night?’ and a partner rushes to answer, ‘She drinks as much as anyone else,’ then it makes me feel that maybe this person makes excuses for their spouse’s behavior in other realms as well.” ― Samantha Rodman, a psychologist in Takoma Park, Maryland
Head over to the Huffington Post for more therapy insights, and share your thoughts on their findings below.