My husband and I have been together for 22 years. We knew each other for 7 years before marriage. We have 2 beautiful children and I thought we were happy. 1 month earlier he confessed he has been in a relationship with his colleague for the past 7 months.
Where did we go wrong?
According to research by Gottman Institute, a couple waits for an average of 6 years of being unhappy before seeking help to resolve their issues.
The most common reasons that lead to complications in marriage are:
Physical or emotional abuse can be a corrosive for a marriage as it snatches away a partner’s sense of physical and emotional safety. It can infuse fear and resentment in the relationship and lead to a breakdown if it occurs on multiple occasions.
Infidelity in a relationship is a personal affront to the commitment and trust of the partner. Every couple has their own rules about what constitutes cheating. For some, it could be watching porn, sex chats, emotional cheating, sexual infidelity. A betrayal leads to anger and grudge-holding, verbal attacks and it's a challenging but possible road to recovery of trust.
Sometimes the bitterness might not be coming from within the relationship but external dynamics due to clashes, unjust behaviour, differences in opinions and ideas, misunderstandings which start impacting the marital bond.
Financial struggles can create a cycle of stress and negative interactions, disconnect, arguments and that strains the bond partners share.
If a couple get stuck in destructive cycles of criticism, defensiveness, blame-games, and contempt then it slowly erodes the fondness, intimacy, and warmth they have for each other.
"She had become so cold overnight, I couldn't believe she wasn't coming back this time. I didn't know what to do, what to say to make things okay anymore. If only I could say the right things maybe Preeti would have stayed."
With this book, we bring you several real stories. Few are a reflection of first-hand or vicarious experiences, others are inspired by break up cases helped by the counsellors at BetterLYF.
The term couple counselling can generate the idea of couples sitting in front of the counsellor. They are facing some issues in marriage and the counsellor listening will provide some idea about how to fix these concerns with her saint like advice. However, the reality is bit different. It takes hard work, dedication and commitment to maintain a relationship.
There are some pioneering approaches to marriage counselling in recent days which include Emotion-Focused Therapy, Gottman Approach etc. According to the statistics provided by The American Association of Marriage and Family Therapists report a success rate of 98%. The success of couples therapy and other factors contribute to decreasing divorce rates over time. Marriage counselling indeed brings a new perspective to relationship by strengthening from different aspects.
The key to a long term, healthy relationship is trust, patience, love and adjustments. When there are two people involved in a commitment, disagreements, differences and fights are inevitable. Marriage counselling provides the couple to look into their issue from a different perspective, empathize with the partner, enhance communication thus resolving issues in a healthier way.
Marriage counselling can be sought at any point of time. It is a misconception that counselling is required only there are issues. In fact a significant number of couple consult a marriage counsellor so they can work on different aspect of themselves as well as relationship like effective communications, adapting to the new life, parenting, stress etc.
However, there are few signs that couples can consider in general:
These are some signs which can be considered before marriage counselling. There is no shame in working hard for something one cares for.
Marriage counselling takes hard work, dedication and well strategy. Without a proper plan to achieve the goals for it is a never-ending loop of solving the recent problems. However, there will be nothing about focusing on solutions.
Often it happens that the therapist is not well trained which can make very little progress. Therapists must be trained and should have experience in evidence-based marriage counselling models.
Apart from this the couples looking for therapy should be dedicated as well. The goals of the couple are essential, clarification of specific needs. These variables affect the length of time in marriage counselling.
Marriage counselling helps couple understand each other from a different perspective. It is much more than resolving conflicts. The therapist provides tools to communicate better, understand each other. The therapist helps pinpointing the sources of conflict and try resolving it. The sessions help in getting idea about solidifying the relationship. In some cases, such as mental illness or substance abuse, your marriage counsellor may work with your other health care professionals to provide a complete spectrum of treatment.
Disclaimer: Please note that we are not a crisis intervention helpline. Should you have severe symptoms or have thought about harming yourself, please seek immediate medical help or call suicide prevention helplines such as
Aasra 24x7 Helpline: 91-22-27546669