Marriage is a beautiful union that brings together two people from different backgrounds, bound by love, care, commitment, and understanding. While this bond promises a lifelong journey, it’s important to acknowledge that each partner’s unique personality and upbringing can lead to conflicts. But can these conflicts be resolved? Absolutely! And not only can they be resolved, but marriage relationships can also be continually strengthened along the way. Some common issues can be resolved through good communication and effort, but what about those challenges that seem beyond your control? That’s where professional marriage counselling comes into play.
Is marriage counselling necessary?
Figuring out when it’s time to seek professional support, like marriage counselling, can be a bit subjective, but there are some common signs to look out for:
Frequent Miscommunications and Fights: You find yourselves arguing more often than not.
Past Relationships Still Haunt You: Previous relationships are negatively affecting your current one, creating conflicts.
Emotional Disconnect: There’s a feeling of emotional detachment or a lack of intimacy between you and your partner.
Interpersonal Challenges: You’re facing interpersonal issues and aren’t sure how to resolve them.
Considering Divorce: If divorce seems like the only way out before seeking help, it’s definitely time to consider counselling.
Marriage counselling can also help with issues related to finances, sexual abuse, substance abuse, affairs, and infidelity.
Common Myths and Doubts about Marriage Counselling
Despite the growing acceptance of marriage counselling, some myths and doubts persist. Here are a few you might have heard:
Feeling Ashamed or Guilty: You might feel ashamed or guilty about seeking counselling.
We Should Handle This Ourselves: You might wonder if you and your partner should be able to resolve your issues without outside help.
Can Counselling Work for Us?: You might question whether counselling can work for you, especially if communication has been a challenge.
Happy Couples Don’t Have Problems: You might believe that if you truly love each other, you shouldn’t have conflicts.
Is conflict normal in loving relationships?
Yes, absolutely! Conflict is a natural part of any relationship. Why? Well, there are many reasons. First and foremost, you and your partner come from different backgrounds, experiences, and atmospheres. You’ve had unique life experiences, both good and bad. And all those experiences shape your expectations and triggers in life. So, isn’t it only natural that conflicts arise? Then, during those disagreements, miscommunications can compound the issues, leading to a wide range of emotions, from simple disagreements to frustration and defensiveness.
What can you gain from marriage counselling?
Marriage counselling isn’t just about resolving conflicts; it’s about making your relationship stronger. Here’s what you can gain:
Identifying and Promoting Strengths: Counselling helps you discover and maximise your individual and collective strengths.
Improving Communication: It offers a structured path to better communication with your partner.
Reducing Emotional Distance and Building Trust: If trust and emotional closeness are lacking, counselling can help you rebuild them.
Fostering Intimacy: Marriage counselling often focuses on nurturing both non-sexual and sexual intimacy.
Why use Gottman Method Couple Therapy?
Gottman Method Couple Therapy (GMCT) is an evidence-based technique known for its effectiveness in couples’ therapy. Here’s why it’s widely used:
Focus on Positive Qualities: GMCT emphasises qualities like affection, respect, care, and closeness.
Structured Conflict Resolution: It provides a systematic approach to addressing and resolving conflicts.
Improved Communication: GMCT helps you develop effective communication skills.
Peaceful Conflict Discussions: It supports calm and constructive discussions during conflicts.
Sustained Improvements: GMCT helps maintain positive changes in your relationship.
How Does a GMCT-Based Marriage Counselling Session Work?
Each session typically lasts 80 to 90 minutes and involves several stages, including assessments and goal setting. Here’s an overview:
Understanding the Current Issue: The therapist starts by exploring the current problem.
Exploring Your Relationship History: You and your partner share your relationship history to identify potential sources of conflict.
Individual Perspectives and Histories: The therapist interviews each partner separately to understand their perspectives and histories.
Therapist Feedback: The couple reconvenes to hear the therapist’s insights and findings.
Setting Goals: Together with the therapist, you and your partner establish goals to strengthen your relationship.
Are GMCT results positive?
Absolutely! GMCT is continuously evaluated and boasts low relapse rates, making it a highly effective approach to marriage counselling.
How to Approach Your Partner About Marriage Counselling
Bringing up the topic of marriage counselling with your partner can be challenging. Here are some tips for a productive conversation:
Choose the Right Time: Timing is crucial; pick a time when you both can sit down and talk without distractions.
Emphasize It’s Not About Blame: Make it clear that counselling isn’t about assigning blame; it’s about improving your relationship together.
Share your goals: Discuss what you hope to achieve through counselling and how both of you can contribute.
Set Boundaries Together: Talk about what you’re comfortable with and establish boundaries for the counselling process.
Do you always need problems in your relationship to attend counselling?
No, not at all. Some couples choose counselling as a way to proactively strengthen their relationship and maintain its positivity. Therapists are trained to identify and address potential issues before they become major concerns.
Starting marriage counselling might seem daunting, but remember, it’s a step towards a stronger, happier relationship that can last a lifetime. When you’re ready to take that step, consider reaching out to Light Mind for professional guidance and support. Your journey to a healthier, more fulfilling marriage begins here.Book an appointment