MYTHS ABOUT MARITAL COUNSELLING
- TALKING ABOUT MY PROBLEMS WILL MAKE IT APPEAR BIGGER THAN NORMAL AND CAUSE MORE RIFTS.
Just like when a wound when cleaned causes more pain, so does talking about your hurt does. Talking about the problems brings about catharsis and a release of emotions. This can be perceived as threatening initially but is an essential step in healing.
- PROBLEMS SHOULD BE LEFT ALONE. WHEN THEY ARE LEFT ALONE, THEY WILL AUTOMATICALLY DISAPPEAR.
Wounds when left unattended to are likely to form abscess and increase the pain. Similarly emotional wounds do not disappear over time. They need to be addressed carefully to avoid further problems or even amputation in worse case scenario.
- ALL MARRIAGES HAVE HITCHES 2 YEAR HITCH, 5 YEAR HITCH, 7 YEAR HITCH AND 10 YEAR HITCH. IF I AM ABLE TO KEEP UP THE MARRIAGE THROUGH THIS, THE MARRIAGE WILL SURVIVE.
Dragging along with negative emotions actually leads to further damage to the relationship. Emotional content of one incident adds on the next and carries on till it becomes unbearable.
- IF I TALK ABOUT MY PROBLEMS TO MY FAMILY AND FRIENDS, IT WILL CAUSE THEM UNNECESSARY PAIN. IGNORANCE IS BLISS
People listen and trust non verbal or body language more than verbal messages. It is of no surprise that 80% of our communication is non verbal. Family and friends, if they are closely bounded, therefore will already have some idea about the problems. Keeping it hidden from them not only isolates you, but causes greater anxiety and even conveys a message to them that you do not trust them. In effect your efforts to keep them from being in pain actually cause more damage to your relationship with them and ultimately greater pain to both. Sharing pain with the family gets each other closer.
- NO ONE CAN HELP ME IN A MARITAL RELATIONSHIP. I HAVE TO WORK IT OUT MYSELF.
This is self induced pain and helplessness. This belief is the language of a victim who at an unconscious level prefers to remain as a victim. There is no basis to this belief.
- IF MY PARTNER IS NOT WILLING TO WORK AT THE MARRIAGE, NOTHING WILL CHANGE FOR US. I ALONE CAN NOT BRING CHANGE IN MY MARRIAGE.
Marriage is a relationship between two dynamic individuals. Changes in one lead to changes in the other. It has a ripple effect on the other. It is also a well known fact that one can only bring out changes in oneself and any attempt to change another is a foolish act. In my 10 years of practice I have worked with numerous marital conflicts and more often than not only one person consults for therapy as the other is either unwilling to come for therapy. Relationship has been resurrected despite only one member being present.
- I AM NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR THE BREAKDOWN IN THE RELATIONSHIP; IT IS FATE OR FAULT OF THE PARTNER.
Blaming fate is an unconscious unwillingness on our part to bring about changes in our self. Change in any aspect is perceived and experienced as stressful and therefore unwelcome. However we verbally say that we are willing to work on the marriage, there is a resistance to change in a similar manner and its outward manifestations are in the form of helplessness to fate or blame on our partner. Our age old saying “taali ek haath se nahin bajti” goes a long way to explain this phenomenon.
- HAPPINESS IN OUR MARRIAGE IS DEPENDENT ON CHANGING NEGATIVE HABITS OF THE OTHER PERSON.
Taking on the responsibility of change in your self is the first step to healing a marriage. Any attempts to change the other is seen as an evaluative, judgmental and a corrective act and therefore sabotaged at the first chance. I have more often than not worked with only one individual with equally effective results and in as much time.
- ONCE THE RELATIONSHIP IS TARRED, THINGS WILL NEVER BE THE SAME FOR US.
The basis of this is negative thinking and the focus on what is not there. We can spend our time on focusing on how there is a speck on the drawing sheet or paint something so beautiful that the speck although there does not catch our attention. How we view things, a glass half full or a glass half empty is the premise of our belief in working out a marriage.
- TRUE LOVE IS MAGICAL.
This is a powerful and omnipotent belief that love is magical. Therefore one can not really work on it or create it. It is either there or not there. If damaged, one can not create it. The fact is marriage or any relationship is not magical. We all need to work on it and resurrect it from time to time. Communication is therefore a crucial element in its survival. Even the purest form of unconditional love of a mother and child needs efforts to keep it alive. There is nothing magical about it. Any mother will tell you how she struggled with her child and that only conscious effort and good communication helped.
- GOING TO A COUNSELOR WILL ACTUALLY SPOIL THINGS FOR US FURTHER.
Many clients feel that going to a counselor will spoil things for them yes, many have experienced this too. Counseling is good; unethical practice in the name of counseling can have devastating effects. You need to be careful in choosing the type of marital counseling you are opting for.
Also, one may be aware that the marriage is not working out and may fear discovering that during the counseling. Some clients opt not to go for counseling as their fear of discovering this is higher than their pain. Some realize this in the middle of therapy and tend to push the blame onto the counseling sessions. Remember it is always your choice what you want. There is nothing right or wrong about it.
To avoid disappointments check out these basic premise of counseling before you enter therapy sessions:
· Consult a person who is non judgmental and non directive in his approach. We do not want it to be a verbal court battle in the counselors room where the counselor decides who is right and who is wrong.
· Another crucial element of counseling is confidentiality and therefore for any marriage counselor to take counseling sessions together with both the clients can actually do more harm than good. It actually turns out to be the power experienced by the counselor himself when he sits on a judgment on who is right and who is wrong.
· The counselor needs to empathize and work with you as an individual. If he is able to take you to a different level working with you, things automatically improve. The interest of the client is at the forefront in a session.
· Explore how comfortable are you with the changes in your life and decide for yourself what are your comfort zone. A good counselor can help you work on this.