Relationship Counselling as a Key to a Healthy Marriage

A healthy marriage requires time and mindfulness. It is easy to put in a great deal of effort in the early days. As we settle into the realities of life it becomes something we need to do more consciously. This is where relationship counselling can be of great benefit.

Why consider relationship counselling?

It usually happens that opposites attract. So you are likely to marry someone who is quite different from you. Initially these differences amuse or intrigue us. But over time they have the potential to cause serious rifts in what could be a healthy marriage.

It is easy to get on with your partner when you are in love. In the beginning we go out of our way to please our partner or to keep them happy. We often give a lot more of ourselves. When we have some doubts or feelings of unease, we reason these away. Perhaps we even go out of our way to find extenuating reasons for our partner’s behaviour e.g. but he works such long hours, he also has a need to have some time to himself, she is really such a good person deep down, etc.

We may even become more tolerant of behaviour that actually makes us unhappy. But because we are unsure of how to respond or doubt ourselves, we begin to accept it. Before we know it, this behaviour becomes a pattern in the relationship and a potential risk to a healthy marriage.

I see many young women rationalise about their partner’s behaviour when they clearly find some aspect unacceptable. When their partner becomes defensive, they back off.  This means that serious issues are left unresolved. Relationship counselling helps find constructive ways to talk about and resolve concerns. And so we can develop a means of dealing with differences that can develop into a healthy marriage.

Seeking counselling early in a relationship helps a couple to develop positive ways of dealing with differences. It helps them explore and devise a solid framework for communicating.  At the beginning of a relationship partners are amenable to each other. As a result they are more flexible and willing to consider each other’s point of view.

Usually couples wait until there are fundamental differences before they consult with a counsellor. This is often too late. After years of marriage and many unresolved arguments couples often become more stubborn and set in their ways. They expect their partner to change and are less willing to look at their own behaviour.

Relationship counselling helps a couple to talk about sensitive issues e.g. relationship with the in laws, having children, taking time to be with friends, having time for themselves, etc.  The counsellor can help a couple express their true feelings in a non-attacking way. Furthermore the counsellor ensures that both individuals have a turn at voicing their opinions. Most importantly the counsellor will read between the lines and pick up on underlying issues that can affect a healthy marriage.

It is important to lay a solid foundation in a marriage. The reality is that life brings challenges. Challenges surface our inherent coping styles. It is preferable therefore to know your natural coping style at the beginning of a relationship. When we are under stress our coping styles are often less constructive. A relationship counsellor can help us find more beneficial ways of responding.

Set yourself up for a healthy marriage

A healthy marriage is dependent on the extent to which you are willing to work on your own emotional baggage. Why? Because your partner will press buttons that will make you react defensively. Remember, it is not your partner that has caused the buttons. Those buttons originated from your childhood and can be traced back to your relationship with a parent or sibling. The reality is that our partner is on the receiving end of our behaviour from unresolved issues in our past.

Relationship counselling helps you identify these patterns and find ways to move forward so that you can experience a healthy marriage.

If you would like to subscribe to my monthly newsletter please complete your details below:

[gravityform id=”1″ title=”false” description=”false”]

Posted in Marriage, Therapy.