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  1. #1
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    Default Marriage counselling - your stories please

    Hi all

    My DH and I are starting marriage counselling this week. I'm just wondering what we can expect to get out of it particularly the first session. It's only an hour but I feel like we'd need a whole day for our first session! How do you pin point the issues? Is there anything we should prepare before the appointment? Also if you feel like sharing, do you have any success stories? My DH and I are very close to ending things despite neither of us wanting that outcome but we're really not happy

  2. #2
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    to you and I know how difficult it is to accept that what you are doing is not enough and that you need some help. It is great that you and your partner are willing to try counselling.

    I attended couples counselling with my ex (I would like to say that it was not the counselling that broke us up and it actually did help - our relationship was just doomed to fail). We didn't prepare anything and for the first session we used it to get a feel for the counsellor and if she was right for us. We talked about it a bit in the lead up but not much and went in with an open mind. We also had to tell each other that our sessions were not an attack on the other but a way to get communication lines open - which we weren't able to do by ourselves.

    I wish you all the best and hope you and your DH can sort things out.

  3. #3
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    My Dh and I have done a couple of sessions. I actually started going on my own for other things and then the counsellor asked to meet dh as I was feeling a lot of anger towards him.

    I am finding the sessions really good as I can hear what DH thinks on situations and I can explain things in a calmer setting.
    And she showed us how we are just stuck in a bad cycle giving us tips on how to slowly change the way we communicate with each other.
    We are still a long way from the happy marriage we once had but I am glad we are going to counselling although a day session would be great compared to just one hour!!
    Good luck with everything.

  4. #4
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    We started as individuals first to I guess identify what we both felt were the major issues we were facing and without having the other person there it allowed us to not feel intimidated by each other.

    When we started together, I expected, I guess, the counsellor to agree with one or the other.

    We didn't even discuss issues for ages, we talked about 'validating' each others feelings and hearing what the other person was trying to say.
    She asked us why we wanted to come to Counselling, and both of is said we didn't want to leave each other.

    So we also had to write what we loved about the other person, what are expectations of each other were and how to reach middle ground on our expectations.

    We had to stop when my dad got sick so we never discussed the actual issues that brought us there but at least it taught us how to discuss rather than argue.


    For me it was beneficial, it really meant alot to me to be heard and validated, for dh, I think he resented me for a long time for having to go. But we're still together and as a couple, we're very much on the mend.

    Good luck x

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    Thanks for sharing ladies xx

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    Bumping.

    Anyone else? We're off for our first session tomorrow and I'm really scared about it.

  7. #7
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    *hugs*

    Marriage counseling definitely saved our marriage and nearly 10 years later we are still going strong and we're both very happy in our relationship. That's a far cry from where we were 10 years ago. We were miserable and we'd been miserable for a while. We'd managed to really get ourselves in a rut & could not pull ourselves out. We really needed that outside influence to get down to the actual nitty gritty underlying issues, cause we couldn't see them ourselves.

    We went to maybe 6 sessions (an hour each) and although it doesn't sound like much, it was a lot for us really and really good. I don't know if it was at the first session, but I remember having this list of issues I had with my dh in my head and wanting to share them all in the first session. Things like "last week he didn't even take the bin out". You know the stuff. But the counselors (a couple) didn't want to hear that. They helped us get down to the real issue and for us it was communication. dh was away a lot for work (sometimes for up to 4 weeks at a time) and when he got back there were fireworks (of the bad kind) and miscommunications galore. It would then snowball from there.

    So, over time we learned that the way we had been communicating and our expectations of each other were just not right. When I think back now I really laugh. dh would come home from being away from work and he would be so exhausted he'd need to sleep for 1 - 2 days & all I'd want to do is talk about all the issues with the house or our finances, or something ... all within hours of his return. I learned to wait a day or two to have that discussion and it made a world of difference.

    It wasn't simple and as a result of the counseling we made more changes over time to get our issues better sorted in general. What that meant was talking more when dh was away and he never went away for 4 weeks again (max is 2.5 weeks, although now it's rarely more than 5 or 6 days).

    Learning to communicate in a new style/way and rekindling what you had in the start of your relationship is hard work and will not happen overnight. I think we expected instant improvement with counseling and we didn't get it. We were trying far too hard initially and it's hilarious now to think back as to what we did. We went out on a date night and then discussed our issues with each other instead of just enjoying each others company. The drive home from dinner was spent in tears. Whoops! But, over the weeks and then months (counseling sessions were not weekly) changes happened and probably within 3 months of starting things were pretty good and they just improved from there.

    Please have hope and try & relax if you can.

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  9. #8
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    Thank you so much for replying! That's exactly our issue - we're arguing because we cannot communicate effectively with each other. I really appreciate your honest reply, thanks again

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    Hello,

    I am a writer with the Weekend Australian Magazine. I am researching an article about marriage counselling. I am wanting to talk to people who have been through counselling about their experiences. Can we talk. My email is gregbearup@gmail.com and phone number is 0437 914 721.

    Regards,
    Greg

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    Hello,

    I am a writer with the Weekend Australian Magazine. I am researching an article about marriage counselling. I am wanting to talk to people who have been through counselling about their experiences. Can we talk. My email is gregbearup@gmail.com and phone number is 0437 914 721.

    Regards,
    Greg


 

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