The divorce rate is increasing and relationships are being put under the microscope. Why do so many marriages fail? Ironically, most people haven’t lost their faith in marriage and they go on to re-marry. Marriage guidance or couples counseling is gaining in popularity. When it began, it was strictly for married couples but now it’s offered to any couple in a relationship that are having difficulties. It is particularly popular in America, where the culture encourages people to open up and discuss their intimate problems. In the UK, they are more reluctant to talk to strangers.
It’s advisable to choose a counselor that has been recommended. Many of them are very experienced and knowledgeable but you also need someone who is easy to talk to. Couples counseling can involve talking to the couple together and the two partners on an individual basis. The reasons for a relationship breakdown may be complex and it may involve a lot of sessions. Trust has to build between counselor and couple. Everyone needs to view the session as a place of safety where everything said is confidential and feelings can be expressed with complete honesty.
If a couple have been arguing or not communicating, it’s often very helpful to involve a third party. That person could be a friend or relative, but they may feel awkward and prone to taking sides. Couples counseling means that objective advice is given by someone who has no emotional investment in the couple. Sometimes, it’s easier to talk to a professional. You often tell outsiders the things you couldn’t say to loved ones. Hopefully, the sessions will get to the root of the problem. Often, what seems to be the problem is only a symptom, masking what is really wrong.
Modern life is very stressful and stress related illness is on the increase. Couples have busy lives with demanding careers and still have to do domestic chores. Something has got to give and it is so often the relationship that bursts. This is compounded if there are children, making further demands. Arguments tend to break out over money or time spent at work. A partner can feel neglected and taken for granted. Couples counseling asks the couple to stand back and look at their behavior toward one another. It helps to try to understand what the other one is feeling. Instead of trivial rows about who didn’t put the garbage out, they are encouraged to address real issues. When true communication has stopped, someone has to get the couple talking again. Only then can anything be resolved.