Relationship difficulties can be hard to overcome and sometimes a couple’s counsellor can make all of the difference. Counselling provides a safe space for you and your partner to express yourselves in an honest and open way without judgement. You may feel apprehensive about asking your partner to come to counselling. Don’t be afraid. There are many reasons why couples may seek counselling to improve their relationship, not just when the relationship is at the end of its tether. Counselling might be useful to discuss problems with money, sex, miscommunication and recurring arguments or future goals. Any issues that are causing disagreements, animosity or uncomfortable moments are a good place to begin.
Relationships take time, respect and understanding. It can be overwhelming and frustrating when we can’t understand what each person is trying to convey. We don’t have to agree on every little thing, but we need to cut each other some slack and respect each other’s right to have an opinion. We need to acknowledge each other’s values without trying to coerce them into our thinking. Without the right kind of guidance, conflict could drive two wonderful partners apart.
You may be thinking that you don’t need to see a counsellor or go for therapy. But after a few sessions you might see how things could turn around for you.
What is Couples Counselling?
Couple’s counselling is when two individuals in a relationship are at an impasse and seek help to resolve differences that are causing issues or ruptures in their relationship. In couple’s counselling “the relationship” is the client. The counsellor will seek to connect empathetically and emotionally with each partner. There is no favouritism. Both partners will be able to share their perception of the problem until it is acknowledged and understood.
We are often unknowingly influenced by maladaptive behaviours and we attract a partner with similar attributes. This can lead to relationship dissatisfaction, chronic anxiety and higher emotional reactivity.
Couples counselling is useful for building happy, healthy relationships. Through the counselling process, a new perspective on how you are currently dealing with your problems or how you perceive each other will emerge. There are valid reasons as to why you and your partner react the way that you do. Couples counselling will help to identify those unhelpful patterns in order to make changes. You can learn to create the intimacy and love we crave.
The goal of couples counselling is to get your relationship back on track. To do that, the counselling sessions will focus on what’s happening in the ‘now’ as well as the recurrent issues that the couple seems to face.
How can Couples Counselling help our Relationship?
Couples rarely express vulnerable emotions to each other. I am not talking about frustration, jealousy or anger. We need to get to the nitty gritty of our emotional state: the real reason for our outbursts or withdrawal. Fear, hurt and sadness are primary emotions that occur unknowingly.
Couples wait six years on average to seek counselling. They may be embarrassed to come to counselling and wait for problems to pass or for their partner to understand their point of view and implement changes. It is always best to seek counselling at the onset of any impasse. The longer problems have time to fester, the more time they have to cause bitterness and resentment.
You may have grown apart over time. I can help you to reconnect and perhaps ignite the flame you once had.
Other reasons for couples counselling include:
- Substance abuse
- Conflicts regarding childcare/ support, especially in blended families
- Infidelity and affairs
- Jealousy and suspicions
- Anger issues
- Sexual and intimacy difficulties
Benefits of Couples Counselling
Although deciding to go for couple counselling might be a tough decision for both or one of you, couples counselling offers many benefits. The most successful benefits to couples counselling include:
- Improving communication
- Developing a deeper connection and renewing intimacy
- Re-negotiating commitments and decisions
Is Couples Counselling Available Online?
Yes, online counselling via Zoom is offered to make your life easier. We live in an expansive digital landscape where we may not be able to walk into a counsellor’s office at appointed times. I offer a neutral, empathetic, judgement-free space where you can share your current problems and difficulties and express how you feel. Online counselling is confidential and safe.
Seeking guidance to iron out differences before marriage is a good thing. We all have our own ideals of marriage and may not realise that our partner has a completely different point of view. It may be a good idea to have an open discussion about what you believe and expect from each other.
Our backgrounds play an important part in our new lives together. Your heritage, religious beliefs and cultural identity could potentially cause issues down the track. Discussing differences and foreseeable expectations will help you to make informed, healthy choices in both the present and the future.
How does my family resolve conflict? Is this going to affect the way that I resolve problems the future? These are important questions. There are no guarantees, but learning good communication skills is essential for keeping your marriage healthy.
Have you decided how you are going to arrange your finances? Money issues are a major factor in marriage breakdowns. There should be no secrets. Your intentions need to be communicated clearly so that you can plan common goals for the future.
Sex is also important in a healthy relationship. Are you both getting your needs met? What is going to happen when you reach intimacy issues? How are you going to work through it? Understanding emotional and physiological gender differences and what you desire from sexual intimacy will likely enrich your current sexual relationship.
Children may not be on your current or future radar but could be extremely important to your partner. Discussing how many children you want, the level of family involvement, what faith you expect them to be, etc., could be a major problem later on. Making sure that you are on the same page early on is the best way to avoid breakdown later down the track.
Inner Voice Counselling Cronulla is located in Sydney’s Sutherland Shire, New South Wales. Our consultations are available in person, via zoom, or by telephone.