For many of us, the idea of seeking help in the form of relationship counselling may be met with resistance. This is natural. As humans, the feeling of not being in control makes us uncomfortable. Society generally teaches us to keep our feelings to ourselves and solve our own problems. But times have changed, and we are evolving. In order to meet our desire for a more honest, real, fulfilling relationship, we must be prepared to put aside our pride for a moment for the greater good of the relationship.
Seeking support early will help to avoid unnecessary damage to your relationship in a safe environment where you can learn to hear and see your partner in new ways.
>> Read our blog post on the four predictors of divorce, plus the top seven principles for improving a marriage.
If you have identified a problem in your relationship that cannot be overcome despite your best efforts, it may be time to seek guidance. Getting help does not mean you have failed as a couple. It simply means you are sensible enough and care enough to try a different approach. Once you have agreed to seek help, booked the appointment, and made it to the front door, it is very important that you are able to keep going and actually bring forward some of the difficult issues you are facing.
A witnessed environment is a safe environment and one in which you can speak as an individual, not just the ‘other half’ of a couple. This is not a time for social niceties, but a time for honesty, so make the most of it.
During your session, you may feel emotional, vulnerable, anxious or even irritable. These feelings are natural. Your counsellor will make sure you are comfortable, and have a glass of water and tissues on hand. Take your time, and know that you can speak without fear of judgement. If you are new to counselling, your issue may be difficult to talk about. But be assured that your trained psychologist will have experience in guiding you through this process.
Difficult topics may include:
- One partner’s realisation/admission that they are attracted to same-sex persons
- Pornography addiction
- Alcoholism or drug use
- Mental health issues
Conversely, you may be struggling with chronic daily problems that are equally intense. These include work-related stress, disagreements over approaches to parenting, financial concerns, health issues, lower sex drive or a lack of intimacy. These are all valid and significant triggers that can all lead to the breakdown of relationships.
Relationship Skills are Skills for Life
Regardless of whether you see yourselves together for a very long time or just for now, learning to talk about your issues with honesty and compassion in your current relationship is an invaluable life skill. Practicing these skills and integrating them into your daily life will help you move towards happy and fulfilling relationships of all kinds.
Are you seeking relationship or marriage counselling? Call 02 6262 6157 to secure an appointment with a psychologist within seven days.