Survey Results: Why Couples Fight, Split & Seek Counseling


Therapists shatter relationship myths. Plus: a surprising benefit of couples counseling!

A look inside couples therapy
• For couples worried therapy will take years to benefit them, the survey revealed most clients start to see improvements in 4-10 sessions, on average.
• The other surprising news is that by and large therapy has a positive effect in the bedroom: a whopping 80% of therapists said therapy leads their clients to "more sex".
• The #1 cause for failure in therapy is the lack of effort from one or both partners (62% Experts agreed). Only 3% of Experts cited a bad fit between the client and the therapist for failure in therapy.
• In straight couples, 90% of the time it's the woman who initiates therapy. 

A few statistics on cheating
• Though infidelity is not the #1 reason couples break up, the Experts did deem infidelity as the most difficult issue for a couple to get over.
• The riskiest stretch for couples is the three-to-five year period in a relationship, as 40% of experts said this is the time where partners are most likely to cheat.
• 2/3 of Experts agreed that the presence of kids in a relationship—which can increase stress—does not make a couple more susceptible to infidelity.


"These results are not just fascinating but also very encouraging. Couples who have conflicts can look at this data and expect there's a good chance they can benefit from Expert help—relatively quickly, especially if they stick with it!" stated Andrea Miller, YourTango's CEO. "Nearly 55% of the Experts indicated that couples quit therapy prematurely."

Additional noteworthy findings include:
• Both homosexual and heterosexual couples split for the same top three reasons: communication issues, loss of intimacy and infidelity, though infidelity ranked second for gay couples and third for straight
• 57% of Experts said watching sports and consuming sports stats has a negative affect on relationships.
• 70% said technology is talked about on some level with all clients (13% said with clients in every session).
• 71% said falling into old relationship patterns without resolving them was the primary reason single people stay single
• 41%—the majority—of respondents said "feeling stuck in a rut" is the #1 reason singles seek therapy; "trouble finding a relationship" was the second most popular complaint (30%)
• 44% thought Heidi Klum and Seal were the most in need of couple's therapy, followed by Will and Jada Pinkett-Smith (19%), and Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie (17%)
• 51% said Kim Kardashian is the celebrity most in need of a dating coach, followed by Rihanna (26%)
• 58% said Barack and Michelle Obama are the celebrities who seem to have the best relationship (followed by Ellen DeGeneres and Portia De Rossi and—garnering 0% of the vote—Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes)
• Arnold Schwarzenegger is the politician "most in need of therapy," closely followed by Newt Gingrich

YourTango Experts connects Experts with YourTango readers through poignant advice, videos and local directory search. Experts write on YourTango about the issues that most meaningful impact our lives. From dating to marriage and intimacy, parenting, self-esteem, mental health and more, our Experts translate their expertise in their private businesses into heartfelt content that our readers eagerly read and consume on a daily basis. 

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Methodology: Conducted on and, the survey questioned a sample of 76 relationship professionals. Polling took place over February 16-March 5, 2012.

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