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Couples and Marriage Counselling

Chances are that some of you reading this are in a long term relationship, and you can relate to at least one of the following:

We can’t seem to communicate with each other without yelling, getting upset, or getting into a big fight. It’s not healthy for the kids.

He does nothing to show me he still loves me.

She does not initiate any of our couple activities.

I just want to feel that we are a team again.

Every conversation we get into is filled with sarcasm, anger, resentment. What happened? We didn’t used to be like this.

I think he doesn’t care. I don’t get any help around the house, or with the kids. I think he tries, but it’s not enough. I’m exhausted.

He has a special friend that he confides in. Why can’t he talk to me?

She’s indifferent to anything that I do for our family. Nothing I do seems to be enough.

We are emotionally disconnected. I feel alone in our so-called relationship.

We have not been intimate in a long time.

Or something along these lines.

The reality is, when two people get married, it’s also a marriage of two perspectives of the world, of two personalities, two family histories, two upbringings, two cultures.

Given all these, it’s amazing and inspiring to hear of marriages lasting 30 years, 40 years, and for some, an entire lifetime. Were these trouble-free marriages? Most likely not. Research by Dr John Gottman showed that couples whose marriages lasted, exhibited certain behaviours that distinguished them from the ones whose marriages did not last. The good news is that these behaviours can be learned.

When would couples or relationship counselling be most helpful?

Couples or relationship counselling can be effective for couples who recognize that they could do with some help, and they are committed to improving their relationship. Innova therapists can provide insights into patterns that are unhealthy, and share tips and strategies to help with communication and conflict. You may also learn some rules about how to argue constructively.

Couples or relationship counselling is not where you should have it out with your partner and expect your therapist to play referee. It is also not a place to find someone to agree with you and prove that you’ve been right all along, and that really, it’s your partner who needs to be fixed.

Happy couple walking on the beach

How to make couples or relationship counselling effective

To make couples or relationship counselling effective, couples are encouraged to be prepared to:

  • Be committed to work. You may learn that some of your behaviours have been destructive to your relationship, and some changes will be required of you.
  • Accept that you can change only yourself. Demanding that your partner changes is counter productive to a healthy relationship.
  • Speak from your heart. Learn not to keep things inside, where they will fester and build up over time.
  • Accept responsibility for the role that you have played. For every relationship, there are two people who have contributed to its dysfunctional state.
  • Do homework assignments given to you at the end of each session. You will find that a one-hour session goes by pretty fast. Homework assignments are meant to help you practice healthy behaviours, change communication styles, etc, that would help you achieve your therapeutic goals.

Your Innova couples or relationship counsellor will help you set goals at your first session that will guide you and your counsellor along your journey together. Be mindful to bring up all pertinent and relevant stuff. Your counsellor can’t possibly know you as well as you know yourselves, so give voice to your thoughts and your emotions. Make each session count.

Research has shown that many couples do not seek help until six years after the issue first manifested itself. For many, their marriages didn’t make it.

Don’t wait until it’s too late.

Call us now and let Innova couples and relationship counsellors help you today.