Survey Results: Why Couples Fight, Split & Seek Counseling

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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

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