I am no stranger to individual counseling, but do not have much experience with couples counseling, so I am after some advice from those of you who have attended with your DPs/Ex-DPs.
A little background history:
During the last two years, My DP and I have gone through some really tough times, which I believe contributed to me developing severe PND. We are now both on antidepressants which has helped immensely, but are still not out of the woods.
My DP is a very, very private person and really reluctant to share our personal affairs with others, whereas I am the polar opposite. I really find it useful to share things with others, particularly an objective third party.
I did get him to come to two couple counseling sessions during my pregnancy, but it was so exhausting for me, as I was severely depressed and always had spend so much energy getting DP to come with me. We also had to bring our toddler along, which was really distracting. In my opinion the counselor was not the most competent and we did not get remotely close to talking about the issues at hand. For example, I had AND and my DP was quite emotionally abusive at the time, which was never discussed (although I tried)
I am reaching a point in our relationship where I do not want to endure more heartache. Surely it is not supposed to be this hard? It feels like I am carrying a lot on my own two shoulders, and unless he is willing to work on our issues, I don’t think I have the strength to carry on like this. Sometimes I wish I could leave and create some space between us (even if it is only temporary) but I am not a permanent resident and am required to live with him until I get my residency.
Anyways, I would love some feedback from the ones of you who have attended couple counseling. Was it useful to you? If not; why not?
And what strategies did you take way from the experience that my DP and I may implement on our own, if he is reluctant to go?
Any feedback is much appreciated!
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03-01-2012 10:22 #1
Couples Counselling - Does it work?
03-01-2012 10:25 #2Senior Member
- Join Date
- Feb 2010
I'm sorry you are going through this, my DH and I are going to go to counseling too so I would be interested to hear people's experiences as well.
OP I hope you can work through your problems.
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03-01-2012 10:31 #3
03-01-2012 10:41 #4
When DH had an affair at the start of 2011 when our DS was only 8 weeks old we separated for a while and DH really wanted to get his family back and decided that he was really willing to try anything and decided that we would do couples counselling.
It worked alright for us, although it brought up a few other issues that I had in my life and that really needed to sort out.
DH and I have been working on our relationship since starting the counselling and he has been really putting in a effort to make things work.
I hope things get better MIM...if you want to talk more you know where to find me
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03-01-2012 10:41 #5
Last edited by FloatingFairy; 17-02-2012 at 14:06.
03-01-2012 10:46 #6
Hey MiM. First of all, I'm so saddened to hear that it's come to this for you. I haven't done couples counseling myself, but what I do know of it is that it is a double edhed sword.
By that, I mean that it does indeed highlight things and what becomes apparent very easily is that there is a: a relationship to save or b: no relationship at all. It is by no means a "this will fix everything and we can be happy" type of thing. The possibility exists that the counseling will help you discover that the two of you shouldn't be together at all. Or, it can show the pair of you just how much you love each other and that you just have things that need work.
There are many benefits to this. Number one - you have the chance to save your relationship. Not only that, for it to be better than before. Because you get to voice your concerns and feelings and he will have to acknowledge that. However, if it's the worst case scenario, you go through that then knowing that there was nothing left to save. No "what ifs." And trust me, take it from one who knows. What ifs SUCK!
Good luck MiM. I make it a habit of not "wishing for relationships to work out." I wish for your happiness. Whether thats with DP or without.
03-01-2012 10:50 #7
03-01-2012 10:52 #8Senior Member
- Join Date
- Oct 2011
I want to write a longer reply when I am on a computer and not my phone as we had a very positive experience with couples counseling.
We still attend every 4-6months for a 'check up' and our next is in a couple of weeks. Each visit we have less and less to talk about- I think this might be our last- nothing left to talk about- other than arguing about who does more housework (me of course! )
Back soon with a proper reply!
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03-01-2012 10:54 #9
Thanks everyone! And wisely put, GFP. (As always)
03-01-2012 11:24 #10
I'm so sorry you're going through this.
In my experience it completely depends on the counsellor. Some are fantastic, insightful and skilled at getting to the real issues. Others are harmless but useless and others can make things worse. So if you don't feel comfortable with your counsellor or feel they really understand why you're there then change.
Counselling helped us a lot. Mostly that was because DH had some family issues that were contributing to depression and he needed someone 'outside' to validate what he was feeling and say, 'yes, how you've been treated is not loving', and 'it is best that you focus on your wife and kids rather than your dysfunctional extended family'. And they gave us strategies for dealing with things as a couple and communicating better.
Things are still not perfect, but we are much better at dealing with conflict and uncomfortable issues.
I hope things improve for you.
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