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Does Relationship Counselling Really Work?

Updated on February 2, 2020
EvieSparkes profile image

Evie Sparkes is a published novelist, content writer and company director from the UK.

It's Good to Talk

Sure, it's good to talk. It's important to get your feelings and fears out there. I am a great believer in talking it out. I am not one for conflict however, and I believe that talking about it has a cut off point.

It's one thing addressing an issue in your relationship and deciding to find a solution to your feelings. Look for a way forward. Talk...shout, scream and cry if you need to. But talking about it has a shelf-life.

When talking becomes a way to vent your resentment at your partner, it has no purpose other than to make you both feel bad.

Marriage Guidance Counselling?

So you've got yourselves to a point of no return. You're constantly arguing about that thing, or those things that you think are responsible for stuffing up an otherwise good relationship. You are exhausted. It's time for someone else to sort you out.

I have two friends that concluded just this. One very recently. In both cases, it didn't work. I say it didn't work but maybe it worked very well. To show them that they couldn't get past it. They'd be forever shouting at each other because both of them believed that they had the high ground.

When you talk about an issue over and over, you are constantly reminding yourself how awful it was or is. You want the other person to apologise, admit it was all their fault and promise to do better. But relationships are about compromise. A good relationship survives because you both take some of the blame when things go wrong. It's never generally all one person's fault.

If you go for counselling with a view to resolving your issues by the other taking full responsibility then you will be disappointed. Inevitably you will be having the same conversations all over again. You might be lucky, you might get a few months in, but it won't last.

Why You Need to Let Go Of The Past

The past is just that. It's gone, it's done, you can't change it. Do you really want to live in it?

Sometimes it's better to accept what happened and move on. Deal with the fact and decide that enough is enough. If you really do want to salvage your relationship then what else is there to do?

Getting mad at the same things over and over will not solve anything. Thinking about it and imagining more angry conversations will only lead to more of the same. Take some time out. Really think about this relationship and what it does have to offer. List all of the good things. Don't list the undesirable things in another column. Don't give attention to the things you don't want, only the things that you do.

Can you see lots of positives? Had you forgotten about all the the things that made this relationship work before all of the other stuff happened? We can get so hung up on the negative things, that we disregard the good. We almost don't want to acknowledge it because then we will feel less justified about being so damned angry all of the time.

Resentment effects you more than the other person. It eats away at your soul until over time love turns to hate and you can't see past it.

What if you tried forgiveness? Not necessarily for them, but for your own good. When we forgive, we release so much stress. We feel better and in turn so does our partner.

Holding onto hurt only serves to keep you trapped in the cycle. It's like being on a merry-go-round that never stops to let you off. Round and round you go, never being about to see anything but a blur of the scenery on your way. You get caught up in your own misery.


When to Call It a Day

That's a very personal choice. When you have decided that compromise is impossible for you and you can't get over the past, you have all but ended the relationship. You may still be together, but you aren't really a couple anymore.

I have always wanted to make things better. If there is a way to make things work, then I will try. I have seen how resentment grows and erodes what I consider to be salvageable relationships.

You might want to hold onto the moral high-ground, but at what cost?

It's not over until it's over. If you decided to go for counselling, then there is something worth saving. If you didn't think that was the case then you wouldn't have bothered.

What if you decided to let go of the past and start afresh from today? Think of the new things you could experience together. This could be the first day of the rest of your life.


Comments

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    • EvieSparkes profile imageAUTHOR

      Evie Sparkes 

      3 months ago

      Yes it is Dora. Hurting themselves in the process of holding on to hurt. Thanks for taking the time to comment :)

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 

      4 months ago from The Caribbean

      Great counsel! Yes, it works for those who are determined to move forward. It is holding on to the past that blinds many individuals to the benefits of good counsel.

    • EvieSparkes profile imageAUTHOR

      Evie Sparkes 

      4 months ago

      "Never love anyone who treats you like you're ordinary." - Whole heartedly agree!

    • dashingscorpio profile image

      dashingscorpio 

      4 months ago from Chicago

      "So you've got yourselves to a point of no return. You're constantly arguing about that thing, or those things that you think are responsible for stuffing up an otherwise good relationship. You are exhausted. It's time for someone else to sort you out. I have two friends that concluded just this. One very recently. In both cases, it didn't work."

      Speaking from experience I can tell you why.

      First of all most couples don't seek therapy until one or both people have "fallen out of love". Being at "the point of no return" is asking a therapist to become a magician!

      Truth be told many couples are already imagining a life without their partner before going into counseling. The person who suggests counseling is still invested and the other person agrees to go just so they won't look bad. That's how most therapy sessions begin.

      If they're married they can least tell their friends and family they "gave it shot" before they got divorced. Couples counseling is just another one of those boxes to be checked off on the way to divorce court. A divorce is a public admission a mistake was made in someone's mate selection process.

      Human beings make mistakes in all areas of life!

      The couples likely to get the most out of couples therapy are those where both people are still "in love" but realize they need some help with conflict resolution and learning to accept each other as is.

      Expecting someone to become who they are not is unrealistic.

      Ideally you want to choose someone who shares your same values, wants the same things for the relationship as you, and naturally agrees with you on how to obtain those things. Last but not least have a mutual depth of love and desire for one another.

      Compatibility trumps compromise.

      Like attracts like and opposites attract divorce attorneys!

      There is no amount of "communication" or "work" which can overcome being with someone who does NOT want what you want.

      Life is too short to be trying to change water into wine.

      The goal is to find someone who already is what you want.

      There are only two ways to experience joy and peace of mind in relationships. We either get what we want or we learn to be happy with what we have. Accept them (as is) or move on.

      No one is "stuck" with anyone! Suffering is optional.

      "Never love anyone who treats you like you're ordinary."

      - Oscar Wilde

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