Don't be afraid...
...to seek help for your relationship, whether it is a marriage or partnership, long established or has lasted a year or so or even a few months. To be together with someone you have been close to, would like to be committed to but where communication has broken down, and where there is lack of intimacy and empathy, is a sad and lonely place. There sometimes seems nowhere to go with your thoughts and feelings about it all.
You will almost certainly be relieved to find that a counselling session can and should really be a supportive experience. Meeting with a trained practitioner gives you the opportunity to say how you really feel, and to be taken seriously. So often we try to tell a partner, close friend or relation, something fundamental to us and somehow it goes nowhere.
In counselling you are in a quiet place without interruption, at a time you have chosen. You are encouraged to find the words you need. This is a time to describe a difficult event that was hurtful or misunderstood. It seems hard to do and hard for your partner to hear. You feel you have said it all before. This is not an easy option.
A good counsellor will understand this, and support you both. This helps you acknowledge what you partner is saying, even if he or she does not agree or understand. It is this that leads to change. Questions such as 'How would you like the conversation to have been? What was missing for you?' may lead to a constructive reconstruction of the event, and suddenly it seems so clear what would have been helpful, and often why it didn't happen. In the here and now of the session you have the opportunity to really be yourself, and try doing things differently. This usually leads to deeper understanding, as factors that had been hidden, are in the distant past, or thought of minor importance, for instance an illness or death, or relation with a parent or child, are understood with a new insight.
Finally conflict can be negotiated (and even be fun!). You can start to feel 'a team', which is crucial to happiness, and lead richer, livelier, more peaceful and satisfying lives.
Counselling Directory is not responsible for the articles published by members. The views expressed are those of the member who wrote the article.
About Sue Trevelyan
I am a four-year diploma trained couples counsellor with over twenty years experience working for London Marriage Guidance, Tavistock Couples Counselling, and as a Relate licensed practioner for 10 years in Cumbria. I am an accredited member of the BACP. I now live and work in Knutsford, Cheshire seeing clients from many parts of the county.