Marriage Counselling in Melbourne
Many couples commence marriage counselling as a last resort to save their relationship before it ends in divorce. Sometimes one spouse is about to leave, before the other realizes the extent of the problems. Why do couples wait until the relationship is at breaking point before they seek counselling for marriage difficulties?
When distressed, partners get overwhelmed by their feelings, so they defend by discharging the pain, often causing their spouse to feel attacked. These defensive reactions are used to ward off underlying feelings. Married couples become stuck in these defensive reactions and have no way to deal with the hurt. Married couples find it hard to express themselves, when they fall into these stuck positions, unable to move past issues.
In actual fact, some spouses can get so caught in powerfully charged emotional states, that they can lose grip of themselves, without a marriage therapist to help them see outside these stuck positions. Marriage counselling in Melbourne assists couples to dismantle these stuck positions, enabling them to resolve issues.
Many couples find it hard to step outside these stuck positions, without the strength of marital therapy to re-align them. From our earliest experiences, we’ve learnt how to deal with our feelings, in particular ways. But often these coping patterns get in the way of an intimate relationship, causing communication difficulties. It is only with the containment of a marriage counsellor, that these marital issues get worked on, by transforming stuck areas that penetrate the relationship.
John Gottman studied marriage failure, and he found that predictions for divorce stem from raising issues in a negative way, by using criticism, contempt, defensiveness and stonewalling. Let’s explore some traps that can cause stuck positions:
What Causes Marriage Breakdown?
- Avoiding to express how one feels
- Bringing up issues once it’s built up, so you end up attacking the character of the person, rather than addressing the behaviour
- Lack of contributing and participating in the relationship
- Expecting your partner to know how you feel or what you need, without telling them. Thinking that they can read your mind.
- Avoiding clear communication
- The blame game – finding fault in the other for the problems
- Withdrawing from conflict or stonewalling to escape emotions
- Avoid showing hurt feelings
- Stop being interested in each other’s lives
- Forcing ones point of view in order to get heard, without listening to your partner
- Letting emotions distort the way of seeing each other
- Holding others responsible for how we feel, instead of owning our feelings and dealing with them within ourselves
Reasons to seek Marital Guidance Counselling
When couples remain stuck in these defensive positions they are unable to respond to each other’s needs. John Bowlby studied what happened to children when ones emotional needs were not met, this can be the same for married couples. With couples, when ones emotional needs are not responded to, this can lead the partner to protest to try to elicit a caring response in the other, this can be seen as becoming hostile to get a reaction. Then depression or despair is felt, if ones emotional needs are still not met. The last response is detachment or disconnection; many couples enter therapy at this point. If you notice your marriage moving from protest, despair and then onto detachment, then marital counselling can save your relationship in order to prevent divorce.
Contact Counselling in Melbourne for our Marriage Counselling Services.
Please contact: 0449 861 147 or use the enquiry form.
All content is copyright 2017 Nancy Carbone.