WHY TODAY’S COUPLES NEED MARRIAGE COUNSELLING?
Domlur, Bengaluru Feb 9, 2017
Despite the popularity of counselling and therapy services today, a lot of people are still opposed to marriage counselling. It seems to be an admission that their marriage is on the rocks.
Moreover, marriage counselling is not yet a well-established norm in Indian society and people hesitate to talk about their personal life to a third party.
Counselling is all about finding someone outside the marriage who will counsel you. Someone who (unlike either of your families or your friends) does not have any personal stake in the matter and give one a neutral advice.
Because Nuclear Families are the Norm Now
One possible advantage of older times was that living with a large extended family was expected. So, when a new couple had a tiff or needed an advice, they had someone to go to, who probably had their best interests in mind.
Even older couples, dealing with issues like children or money problems, would generally have older and wiser heads counselling them on what would or would not be a good solution.
With nuclear families and single parent families being on the rise, for many reasons (some very good) these outlets for venting are now not near at hand. Discussing such things on the phone or by email isn’t always a solution. Marriage counselling provides that arena for advice and help from someone experienced.
Because Maybe Marriage Counselling is Always Helpful
Talking to anyone who has actually lived through a marriage, it is clear that sometimes what you really need is a designated time to talk to each other and a designated person to make you do it. Marriage counselling is almost exactly for that.
A number of things you can expect from your counselling include
- Learning better communication strategies
- A dedicated time which is just for the two of you to figure out how to make the relationship work better
- Feeling less defensive about admitting mistakes
- Learning to see things from your partner’s point of views
The bonus is since you’re paying money, you probably aren’t going to want to waste that time.
Every relationship has times when partners do not have time to talk to each other. Maybe it’s lack of time, maybe you’re both too irritated with each other, whatever it is, having an ‘appointment’ so to speak can really clear things up.
To Clear Up Expectations
One of the reasons for the popularity of pre-marital counselling is because we recognize that previously, expectations were socially enforced and taken for granted. Everyone’s roles and duties were known.
Now, we are free to make our own choices but the path to make them is not always simple. There are many pitfalls of living together and permanently making decisions with one person, and it is best to be able to talk about these, without prejudice.
Counselling helps couples make these decisions and feel comfortable with their lives together.
To Learn How to Live Together, Permanently
We’ve all had terrible roommates or group members that we’ve learned to adjust with. A lot of us might have the impression that we’re pretty easygoing because of the way we’ve adjusted to some bad situations.
However, an important caveat is that these situations are known to be temporary going in. Just signing a lease proves that (however terrible a year it may be) after a year, you will have other options.
It isn’t unreasonable to get irritated with something when you realize that this is it, you’re going to have to live with this all your life. It’s good to head that off by heading for couples counselling and figuring out what you can live with permanently.
Because It’s Easy To Fall Into Bad Patterns
If you find yourself constantly feeling like
- You’re doing the same thing over and over again
- You really want your partner to change just one thing but they won’t
- You’ll start shouting over something that is objectively unimportant
- You want a break, without your partner
But you don’t say anything because it is too much of botheration, then it’s probably safe to say that the two of you have gotten into the habit of behaving in a certain way that you can’t change. Even when it might be very important.
Because You Can’t Seem To Communicate Clearly
When you are cohabitating, even with a roommate, there comes a point in every relationship where both of you are constantly irritated with each other.
There are needs that are going unmet, and for some reason, cannot be communicated. Every time you try you end up getting into an argument about irrelevant matters.
A marriage counsellor is ideal for bridging these communication gaps.
Because Divorce Rates Are Going Down And You Don’t Have To Be A Statistic
Divorce rates are going down in the US—it’s been true at least since the 1980s. After the surge during the ‘80s, divorce rates have been dropping.
While there is no particular reason to believe that marriage and therapy counselling is a reason for the drop, it’s still a reason to hope!
Unlike in previous times, even if divorce is difficult it’s still possible, so people really are choosing to be together with one person their whole lives. And it’s a certainty that they have had troubles too. So maybe you’re meant to break up, but maybe you should give counselling a try.
Because We Don’t Learn How To Argue Properly
Arguing is an art. Which is to say, it is an art of talking about your problems and reach a compromise, instead of either giving in without talking or insisting your way is the right way.
Most of us prefer to avoid arguments until we’re angry, and that is a problem. If you’re arguing when you’re angry, then you’re likely to say things you don’t mean, hurt your partner’s feelings and not get anything solved either.
- Emotionally focused therapy, including insight-oriented therapy is designed to give you both an idea about how your communication styles mesh and how to orient them properly.
- Part of communicating effectively is also learning to argue effectively. If it takes a marriage counsellor, to help you both with communication therapy, then that’s cheaper than a divorce!
- Marriage counselling costs are not insignificant, but couples can look at free phone consulting before they go for a first session.
To Get Money Issues Out Of The Way (Before They Turn Into A Problem)
Money is one of the great hurdles. It is the leading cause of stress in relationships. Even with two people who having the same goals (house, kids, maybe a lawn) in mind, their ideas of getting there may be vastly different.
Most probably, your ideas of how to manage money are influenced by your upbringing. Because, it is such an important and a fraught issue, having a neutral third party advice through talking about it, is an excellent idea.
Saving and spending habits are a major issue, and counsellor can sometimes offer suggestions that would never have occurred to you naturally.
Because Sometimes A Neutral Third Party is Needed
One can talk it out with our friends or family when there is an issue but sometimes that isn’t a possibility. That’s when marriage counsellors are looked upon!
Your parents might not understand; you might be aware about their biases are on the issue or you might not want to worry them. Whatever the reasons be, sometimes a neutral third party, which will not force their own opinions but will help you both communicate effectively, is the ideal mediator. And make no mistake, whatever their own opinions, a counsellor is supposed to be neutral.
Because you have a chance to improve your relationship.
The statistics show that about 48% of those who went for relationship counselling reported greater marital satisfaction five years later. About 14% reported no change. The rest were divorced.
If you don’t wait until you’re on the brink of divorce, your chances of a positive response to counselling are even higher.
Because Good Habits Learned in Counselling Will Help
A well-known reason that marriage counselling fails is that couples who go for it are trying for a last-ditch effort. At this point, the marriage may be difficult to save for anyone.
However, research shows that marriage counselling can be effective, not only in helping couples but in helping each person individually as well. If you find a suitable counsellor, marriage counselling does work.
The behavioral therapy and communication coaching learned in therapy will stand you in good stead throughout your marriage and your other relationships.
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