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Marriage Counselling

Those of us that are married know that as much as we love our partners, everything is not always bright and cheery. Sometimes relationships are downright hard. Every couple has their struggles and many are able to resolve them. But what happens when we can’t?

There is no one reason why relationships begin to break down, we can’t predict it and it can happen to ANYONE. This is where a marriage counselling or psychotherapy comes in.  A marriage counsellor or psychotherapist can act as the impartial third party who helps you to identify where the relationship is breaking down and then what can be done to resolve it.

The Stages of Relationship Breakdown

Stage 1, you begin to have fights that you cannot resolve amongst yourselves. You have both become increasingly frustrated and are uncertain how to proceed.

Stage 2, one or both of you begins to resent your partner. Your feelings towards one another change for the worse and “stupid” behaviours that you once found endearing are now perceived exclusively as “stupid.”

Stage 3, both parties begin to exhibit more defensive behaviour. Men and women can both react this way, though the defensiveness can become more acute with men.

Stage 4, is when trust is lost. Because conflicts between partners have become so uncomfortable and overwhelming one or both parties begin to disengage in an act of self preservation.

If you find yourself in one of these stages of relationship breakdown it may be time to reach out for professional help.

Why Seek Marriage Counselling

When couples are going through or have gone through the stages of relationship breakdown they often encounter other struggles that may lead them to counselling. The seven top reasons that couples seek marriage counselling are:

  • One or both partners has had an affair or is considering it.
  • Both partners do not know how to resolve their differences.
  • The only option left is separation.
  • The only reason to stay together is the children.
  • Communication has become negative.
  • You’ve stopped doing things together.
  • The negative feelings have boiled to the point of negative actions.

How can Marriage Counselling or Psychotherapy Help?

The goal of any counselling or psychotherapy is to help the participating party or parties resolve the struggle that brings them there. With Marriage counselling, often the underlying struggle is a lack of communication between the partners due to one or both people not feeling heard, noticed or important. If communication channels are down the frustration and feelings of animosity can lead to serious negative actions. As a result a key focus of marriage counselling is to help the couple learn more effective communication skills.

In addition to helping the couple improve their communication skills, the counsellor will help them understand the emotional impacts of their respective decisions. The counsellor will mediate as you discuss the conflicts that brought you to counselling in the first place. An over arching goal will be to help you to resolve your conflicts and devise strategies for dealing with new conflicts as they arise.

Learning to better communicate with one another, to understand where the other party is coming from, and resolve conflicts should help the couple to mend their relationship. Often a big part of this is looking at each others history and why you behave how you do during the relationship. History can repeat itself in our current day relationships, and unhelpful patterns inherited from our parents may subconsciously destroy our happiness, a psychotherapist or counsellor can help us to see this.

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