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.
My husband and I have been together for more than two decades. We knew each other for 7 years before marriage. We have 2 beautiful children and I thought we were happy, I thought things were going fine though we had arguments at times but weren’t we okay the next day? A month ago, my partner confessed to me, that 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. Imagine, waiting for things to get worse before you seek marriage counseling. Marriage Counseling helps a couple understand each other in a better light, with different perspectives than what existed earlier.
Marriage Counseling might act as a navigation system to the car of your relationship. Trying to push the car for as long as we can in order to reach somewhere, won’t help us reach anywhere because the destination is unclear, where we are and where we want to be is unclear, GPS comes to the rescue. Similarly, we might require marriage counseling to help us navigate through the difficult times in our marriage. It’ll Guide us, help us with new Perspectives and Shape the journey for us.
Physical or emotional abuse can be corrosive to 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. Marriage Counseling might help in bringing that safety net back in place.
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, or sexual infidelity. A betrayal leads to anger, grudge-holding, and verbal attacks. It's a challenging but possible road to recovery of trust with the help of marriage counseling.
Sometimes the bitterness might not be coming from within the relationship but from external dynamics due to clashes, unjust behaviour, differences in opinions and ideas, and misunderstandings that start impacting the marital bond. People do seek marriage counseling in these circumstances as well because be it an external agent, it is disturbing the marital relationship.
Financial struggles can create a cycle of stress and negative interactions, disconnect, and arguments and that strain the bond partners share. Through marriage counseling, couples can try and be more expressive and inclusive in these matters.
If a couple gets 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. Marriage Counseling attempts to contain the warmth intimacy and fondness by bringing better conflict management systems in place.
In an online marriage counseling setup, the marriage therapist might take individual sessions with the clients to understand their perspective and then proceed with a joint couple session (if required) to integrate that information to help the couple understand how it shapes their couple dynamics and resolves their challenges. If the online marriage therapist does not feel the need to, marriage counseling might not involve couples and can continue with individual counseling for marriage. Individual sessions are conducted to understand the partners separately and their take on the relationship, their partners, concerns, origin, triggers, maintaining factors, past relationship history, and patterns in relationships are identified and discussed in detail.
A marriage Therapist will give instant solutions: Getting instant solutions is what a therapist hears quite often but, imagine something that has developed over years and gotten so strong that it is hampering the relationship. Can it be resolved instantly? There are no instant solutions to these long-standing issues, it takes time, and quite some effort.
Divorce/Separation: It is often believed that only when you have reached a point where you are thinking along the lines of divorce/separation is when you should opt for marriage counseling.
Taking sides: Another very common belief is that the marriage therapist will take sides and blame the other partner. No, that is not the objective of marriage counseling.
Past wounds: One of the most common myths about marriage counseling is that past wounds would be brought up which makes no sense. But, the whole idea to bring up the past (if at all the therapist decides to do so) is to help you walk through and heal those wounds to not affect you later in the relationship.
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