All Woman

Signs you need marriage counselling

By NADINE WILSON All Woman writer wilsonn@jamaicaobserver.com

Monday, September 10, 2012    

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ALL marriages have their hiccups, but unfortunately for some couples, the issues never go away without some form of intervention.

But instead of speaking to each other or others about the issues, a protective blanket of shame is sometimes used to cover the problems, further magnifying the situation. This oftentimes leads to discontent and, unfortunately, in some cases, to divorce.

However, when a sense of hopelessness and helplessness takes over a relationship, probably one of the best persons to turn to is a marriage counsellor. This person would be better able to take an objective look at the situation and offer guidance.

"If you are a in a relationship and you are not able to solve the problems yourself, it simply means that you may need to seek help from somebody, whether it be a professional or some other expert," said marriage counsellor Dr Alma Blair.

Dr Blair said sometimes the couples actually have the solutions to the issues they are facing and this usually comes out during the counselling sessions.

"They (counsellors) help to guide the couples. In most cases the people are the ones who actually find the solutions. What the marriage counsellor does is ask the questions that allow the persons to realise the answer to varying questions and helps to guide them into finding solutions for the problems."

If your relationship has lost its spark, visiting an expert could help. Here are some of the signs that you need to see a marriage counsellor.

1. You are contemplating divorce.

Before you sign on the dotted line, try to speak to a mediator first. A marriage counsellor might just enable you or your husband to face the challenges affecting your relationship head on. Divorce is a big leap, at least try every avenue available to you before you officially put an end to your union.

2. You are dealing with infidelity issues.

Finding out you have been cheated on is a hard blow that can create tension and anxiety in a relationship. Maybe you have already made up your mind that you won't trust your spouse again, but seeking marriage counselling might just help you to get answers as to why your partner might have cheated. If the union produced children, then you would still need to learn how to talk to them about what you and your spouse are going through.

3. You can't communicate honestly.

Communication is probably the most basic requisite for a sustainable relationship, and if you and your spouse are not able to honestly discuss issues, then you most definitely will need to speak to a marriage counsellor. This person could guide you about how to create an environment for open discussion with your spouse.

4. You feel alone or lonely in your marriage.

Sometimes couples get so busy focusing on securing a paycheque, that they fail to give notice to each other. This usually results in one or both partners feeling lonely and depressed. Once loneliness seeps in, then the emotional connection between two people is usually broken and instead of being lovers, they become like two strangers. A marriage counsellor can help guide you back to the place where you were during courtship when you didn't want to be separated from each other.

5. You don't remember why you got married.

You no longer feel any passion towards your spouse. Your disinterest could be sparked by your dissatisfaction with the relationship. If you are going to last as a couple, you will need to get to the root cause for these feelings towards your spouse. A marriage counsellor can help you dissect the issue and tackle the causes of your dissatisfaction.

6. You have become verbally abusive.

If you tend to be very angry towards your spouse for no particular reason, before you escalate to physically abusing your partner, it would be best to address this emotion. A marriage counsellor's intervention is crucial to helping you to assess the reason for your new attitude.

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