“Then it’s an excellent idea,” she says, “but as an informational, assessment tool, not just to bitch about each other,” Nise says she also has noticed that people may think of therapy for the wrong reasons.“It’s a chi-chi, fun thing to do, to have a therapist,” she says.According to a study by the National Marriage Project at Rutgers University, approximately 8.1 percent of households consist of unmarried heterosexual partners, with census numbers showing that, between 19, the number of unmarried partners increased tenfold.Generation Y-ers ages 18–29 represent a mere 8.9 percent of the married population of the U. In years past, couples might have been married before quarrels developed, but as an increasingly higher premium is put on one’s capacity for personal growth, along with fear that marriage can lead so quickly to divorce, some younger couples try to sort through their issues of compatibility for years before heading to the altar.A 24-year-old in Austin, Texas, changes her Facebook status from “In a relationship” to “It’s complicated,” then comments that she plans to begin couples therapy.Message boards abound with questions from those trying to navigate information about couples counseling.
But increasingly, it also functions as a tool to ease them more comfortably apart.
In comments on an article about couples counseling posted on Très Sugar, a site devoted to women of Generation Y, a woman writes that she’s going in for a few counseling sessions with her boyfriend of three months.
Another responds that three months might be a bit soon: “Maybe after 6–9 months, it would be okay if you’re in a fairly serious, fast-paced relationship, though.” Writes another: “My boyfriend and I went to counseling as our first date! Michael Broder has worked with couples for more than 35 years, and sees therapy as an increasingly common and acceptable option for those in their late 20s and early 30s.
“When I was in graduate school,” says Broder, “we were taught—in what we then called ‘marriage counseling’—that it was successful when the marriage was saved, and not successful when it wasn’t.
I believe there’s no such thing as a ‘happy couple.’ There’s such things as two happy individuals. It’s kind of like a corporation.” To keep two people together unhappily, he says, is to do no service to anyone.