• "My husband and I have problems but I really don't want us to break up. Would counselling help us?"

    Question:

    My husband and I have been having major problems and I’m terrified we’re going to split up. The problems are too complicated to go into but we both really want to make it work.

    Would counselling work for us and when should we go?


    Answer:

    It’s hard to answer this properly without knowing your specific problems but generally the sooner you get help, the more chance you’ve got of solving problems and the less damage they will cause long-term. A big factor in how successful counselling’s going to be is how much you both really want it to work - and how hard you’re prepared to work at your relationship.

    It’s incredibly difficult to break old habits and stop sliding back into them and counselling takes up an awful lot of time. It’s not just a matter of rolling up there once a week, because there’s no point learning skills unless you practise them at home.

    The average couple is in for anywhere between six and twelve hour-long sessions – with homework. Counselling isn’t so successful when you’re already in the middle of a huge crisis. Which is, of course, when most people trot along. What usually happens is, by the time you’ve sorted out the mess (usually, an affair), you’re too exhausted to work on changing, so you settle back into your old ways and the problem starts all over again.

    That’s not to say you shouldn’t go though. You’ll find some great counsellors at relate.org.uk and bacp.co.uk

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