Even If Your Marriage Is Happy now, many marriages are in crisis. Marriages can exacerbate mental health issues and marriage can allow you to find happiness and fulfillment. The case for proactive couples’ therapy, or counselling, is crucial.
We grow up believing that marriage is happy yet filled with a degree of discord. None of us is really prepared, even those couples attending pre-marriage counselling, although it is an excellent way to start this new era of life. Pre-marriage counselling can prepare the couple for the issues that are likely to present as the relationship develops and grows. We, however, do know, very few couples never bother with pre-marriage counselling. Many may venture toward professional help only after considerable damage has been done to their relationship and when the couple is in absolute crisis. Saving your marriage is crucial.
Our entire country consists of people walking around in a mental state of confusion as to why their marriage has changed, why they feel unhappy or frustrated and why they can’t talk to be heard and understood by their once close and connected partner. Then we struggle to discuss this with friends, who often have their own issues to deal with because they really won’t understand my situation because I don’t myself. It is only when you truly experience something can you understand it, hence why our friends or family can’t, they try, they may even connect it to what they have experienced. However, this is not what you are going through or feeling, it is your situation and they can’t really understand how you feel. This is where professional counselling is vital.
Counsellors are trained to understand the meaning between the words and the reason for these feelings you carry. They do not analyse you, they don’t try to fix you, they listen intently, ask relevant questions and help you to understand what it is you feel and the reason you are feeling what you do. Then they work with you on the strategies you can use to adjust your feelings, behaviours and outcomes. A good relationship therapist will work on ways to improve your communication skills, so you can be heard and better understand your partners needs as well.
Teaching communication skills is what we do in couple counselling and it works so incredibly well. As I tell all clients, we learn to talk, we can hear, yet we have never been taught correct communication skills. Communication skills such as being able to understand the meaning of what the other person is saying instead of just the words they are using. Communication is about providing time and space for not only yourself to process but also your partner. It is learning how the male and female brain processes differently and how to encourage and enable this processing, listening and understanding to work for you both.
Marriage does change over the years. Age, maturity, work pressures, children, ageing parents, financial pressures all impact on couples. Learning how to work through these changes, understanding the reason we feel as we do and ensuring we are heard and understood is vital to keep a marriage strong and everlasting. Counselling does not mean something is dreadfully wrong, it can mean you are intelligently and proactively ensuring your marriage and relationship remains stable, secure and strong forever. This is what intelligent and forward-thinking people do, they are proactive, not reactive.
Finding a local therapist or connecting to a professional over Skype or Zoom is becoming more popular. Our lives are busy, travelling to an appointment can be difficult. The best advice for all couples is to have a relationship check-up to discuss those pain points or annoyances before they become major concerns or issues. Learning to be to be heard, to be understood, while understanding your partner, can make your relationship stronger and happier. Proactive, not reactive.
Drop me a line if you need any advice or have any questions, always happy to help.