Our Approach

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Counselling Process

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When Should I Seek Help

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Marriage Counselling or a Vacation

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Couples struggling with their relationship are often tasked with how best to approach fixing or improving their relationship. One of the biggest hurdles that a couple faces is even admitting they have a relationship problem that is getting worse. The next biggest problem is then agreeing that they do not have the skills or ability to solve it on their own. This seems to be especially true for men, who by nature are “fixers” or “problem solvers”. The idea of seeking outside for a couple’s relationship feels like a huge failure to many people, unfortunately and unnecessarily.

A common strategy couples will employ to address their relationship issues is to decide to take a vacation. They “magically” hope that the time away will resolve their repetitive fights and gross misunderstandings and sometimes hostile attitude towards each other. Couples place huge expectations on a weekend get-away vacation or a longer one.

A vacation is not designed to save your marriage or improve serious relationship communications problems. A vacation is simple time away and you get a lift from the daily grind. However, you do have to return to your busy life and deal with the conflict and dilemmas that were there before the vacation. A vacation is a vacation, it is not going to give you the skills you need to address your relationship problems.

In fact a couple in crisis going on a vacation can return with even bigger issues. Planning the vacation, deciding on the agenda, discussing and negotiating sex can result in couples having more conflict and misunderstands than before. Divorce filings actually spike following a vacation or major holiday.

Relationship Counselling, Marriage Therapy

A sobering fact is that most couples wait way too long to seek outside help from a professional relationship therapist. On average a couple will experience 6 years of marital decline and satisfaction before going for help.

Common reasons to avoid therapy:

·        Denial that the problem is that bad

·        Giving the meaning of failure or defeat to seek outside help

·        Fear that even therapy cannot solve the problem and people are not ready to deal with the consequences of that being revealed

·        Fear that the therapist will tell them to end the marriage

·        Not understanding how therapy works or will help

·        Cost

Therapy is most effective when people still are motivated to improve their relationship.  A therapist cannot provide or give a couple the motivation to do something about the relationship, only the individuals in the relationship can do that. So coming in while you still care about each other, still like each other and are motivated to save the relationship increases the positive outcomes significantly. Think like cancer, if you catch it sooner, it is easier and less invasive to treat. However if you wait until its at its 4th stage, then it is fatal and only palliative care.

For some reason people give negative meaning to seeking outside professional help for their relationship. While people will use accountants for tax, or a dentist for their cavity, they give negative meaning for relationship help. However, statistically marriage is the lease successful adult relationship. We all know the sober statistics of 50% of marriage end by year 7 and after children the rate of divorce increases. People do not learn HOW to do marriage. Therapy helps people with the specific skills required to do marriage

It is true, therapy does come with risks. There is a risk that what people want for their relationship is not realistic either because it is simply unrealistic or because people are not willing to put in the effort and work required to save and improve their marriage. Clients are 60% responsible for the outcome of their therapy and 100% responsible for their relationship. Therapy is a partnership, like going to school. The teacher can teach, but she cannot do the learning or homework for the students.  Therapy will help people to deal and move forward with their relationship. Sticking your head in the sand will not improve it either. But therapy, especially done earlier, can have positive outcomes if couples are committed and compatible.

Therapist never make decisions for couples about their lives or relationship. We help hold people accountable and evaluate their choices, beliefs and behaviors. At the end of the day it is up the individual and couple to make the decisions for their life and relationship.

I often hear people discussing that they cannot afford therapy after they tell me they just got back from vacation or will be going on vacation or they have made some other large expense. Therapy is an investment in yourself and your relationship.

There are financial and time fees associated with therapy.  However there are real costs to a dysfunctional marriage that has high stress and conflict. Constant high stress lowers immune system and people get sick more often. Children suffer more illness and behavioral problems and school issues because of parents conflicting. After a fight during business hours  people are affect for 90- 180 minutes post the fight…impacting work performance. Those are soft costs that people do not fact in .

Other costs if a marriage do not work are divorce. Divorce is incredibly expensive financially and emotionally. It destroys the wealth of a family by creating two houses. Usually the woman’s economic standing will significantly drop. Children are greatly impacted. The cost of the divorce is very high starting at a minimum of $20K and rapidly going up if people can agree on division of assets and custody.

Therapy is not like a vacation, but it will give you rewards that significantly improve your life and financial well being.

Visit our facebook page for videos about therapy by our Director Tammy Fontana at All in the Family Counselling Centre Pte Ltd https://www.facebook.com/AllintheFamilyCounselling/

Or contact Tammy Fontana, MS NCC CTRT, Clinical Sex Therapist via Whatsapp at +6590307239

 

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