By the time couples decide to come along to Relationship Counselling the problems within the relationship have often been going on for months, if not years. Sometimes since the beginning of the relationship. Whereby, the issues haven’t been sorted out properly, by one or both of you and they get pushed under the carpet, by one of or both. So the problems just keep resurfacing, on a different day, but with the same theme, argument or discussion.
Therefore, by the time couples seek relationship counselling, there tends to be a lot of finger pointing go on. As if to say ‘if only YOU would change then everything in my life would be OK!’
The first session
The first session will be an overview of; where you both are and how you both feel about things from your individual perspective. You will be asked, what hasn’t been or isn’t working for you and when it first started. Your relationship therapist will more than likely ask you for an example of a particular type of behaviour that bothers you. Most people struggle to think of one. Therefore, your couple counsellor will set you some homework that enables you to put a little bit more meat on the bone as to what is troubling you.
During relationship counselling we explain the importance of providing context, in order for the sessions to be productive. This is also important and for your partner to be able to understand your point of view. You both know, exactly why you feel like you do, exactly why you do what you do and exactly why you say what you do. When it’s us we completley understand it and we often don’t understand why our partner doesn’t. The problem is, we are not as good as we think we are communicating our feelings and actions and we tend to make a lot of assumptions that our partner ‘should’ know something.
Similarly, when relationships start to break down, we tend to start basing our responses to our partner on what we ‘think’ they might mean by a certain type of behaviour or something they say. We tend to jump to conclusions, we make it negative and we personalise it. This happens so quickly, that we don’t realise that we are not taking the time to find out if we are actually right.
More importantly, our couple counsellors will also take some time to look at individual responsibility. With all the will in the world, nobody is perfect. As highlighted above, we understand exactly why we feel as we do. So we have ‘reasons’ why we behave in a certain way or say certain things.
However, our reasons are not necessarily helpful in the relationship. Outside of an argument perhaps, 99% of the time we go about our daily business not necessarily trying to upset or annoy our partner. Howver, this sometimes happens unwittingly.
Nowadays, it’s common, for any couple under the age of 70 who attend, for one or both to complain about how much time the other spends on their mobile phone. Now we know, when it suits us, we can all be guilty of picking up our phone to look at Facebook, texts etc and we don’t necessarily mean to offend our partner. But this is a good example of individual responsibility. Whatever our ‘reasons’ it certainly doesn’t help any relationship if one person has their phone in front of their face all evening.
We won’t judge
Our relationship counsellors are not there to play judge and jury as to who is in the right and who is in the wrong. Couple counselling is about helping you both understand each other’s perspectives. You don’t have to like the others perspective or even agree with them. However, by taking the time to understand it goes a long way in removing any hurt, anger or resentment that may have built up over the years.
Our relationship therapists will also take some time looking at what you ‘like’ and ‘respect’ about each other. Couples often claim to love each other due to the amount of time they have been together and the history and experience they share. However, like and respect are a whole different ball game and are the two things that go out of the window quickly when relationships run into trouble.
Therefore, if a couple is hoping to make their relationship work better than it currently is, it’s important to spend some time looking as what you like and respect about each other as people, even if you weren’t in a relationship together. Looking at it from this view point enables you to the person more clearly.
How relationship counselling can help
Lastly, our therapists at online couples counselling will help you find a new way going forward – so you don’t end up in the same situation again. We can’t change who you are as people and we certainly don’t need to do that. The problems in a relationship are not caused by character traits. Although It might feel like that when you are on the receiving end of something. Our complaints in a relationship are always about someone’s behaviour (which includes the way we speak to each other).
For example, we may complain that our partner is ‘selfish’ – which is a character trait. However, it doesn’t matter if that person is selfish if they don’t do anything. What we complain about is selfish behaviour. So again, we can’t change who we are as people, but we are all absolutely capable of changing the way that we behave and the way we speak to each other. Which should be a compromise to both your characters going forward.
If you would like to make an appointment to come and discuss any problems in your relationship then please contact us at Online Couples Counsellling today. Request an appointment