K J Smith Solicitors

Only a quarter of couples using counselling to save marriages

Published: 21 October 2014

A recent survey has revealed that only a quarter of couples whose marriage is on the verge of breakdown use counselling services to try and save their marriage. The survey, conducted by a firm in the legal sector, has also found that marriage counselling services are more commonly sought by the woman in the relationship, who then suggests it to their partner.

The most concerning statistic is that three quarters of couples who are facing divorce seem to accept their fate and 'give up' too easily, rather than seek professional help to try and restore a fractured relationship.

Whilst around 40% of couples said that they would consider using a marriage counsellor or psychotherapist to save their relationship, only 25% would actually partake in couples therapy sessions to try and resolve the issues harming their marriage.

The data also highlighted that around a third of people will immediately turn to a friend for help, whilst just under a quarter would turn to their parents for advice. Just under 40% said that they wouldn’t seek any help at all, with a high proportion of these being men.  

Whilst some may believe that 'bottling up' their problems might help them to go away, it can often be the worst thing you can do, as it can lead to severe problems in the future; to the point where the relationship is beyond repair.

There are many different factors that can cause a marriage to breakdown, but the earlier you can identify a problem, the more chance you have of being able to save the relationship.

Communication plays a big part in any relationship, so when communication starts to become negative, there is clearly an underlying problem just waiting to come to the surface. Couples use negative communication when they feel depressed or insecure and it is often used to mask another issue. Negative communication can come in the form of a pessimistic outlook or defeatist attitude to various aspects of the relationship. Although negative communication can start with verbal abuse, it can often lead to no communication at all, or even physical abuse.

Sometimes, couples seem to just 'co-exist' which is when couples start to lose the communication and more importantly, the intimacy of a couple, which makes it feel like they're just roommates and nothing more. This shouldn't be confused with couples not spending time together, as there are many normal reasons for this, like busy and conflicting work schedules or a big change in the relationship, like the addition of a child.

When either the man or woman begins to display negative feelings towards their partner, they can materialise in the form of spiteful actions to hurt the other person. One example of this could be making your partner believe that they are having an affair just to make them feel depressed or unwanted. Counselling can help change the way we express negative feeling in these situations.

Committing adultery or even thinking of it is a major contributor to the breakdown of a relationship and one of the best reasons to seek counselling, though it demands total honestly and commitment. If a partner has had an affair, it is a slow healing process that requires forgiveness - which is not always possible.

When couples have identified the problems in their relationship, it can be hard to know the best action to take to resolve these problems without the help of a professional. There is a certain stigma attached to marriage and relationship counselling in general and as the results of the survey suggest, many couples probably see counselling as a way of accepting failure, which is why so few couples try and save their marriage through counselling.

If your relationship has broken down and is beyond repair then K J Smith Solicitors are here to help. Our friendly and knowledgeable team have dealt with a wide variety of marital issues and can advise you on the next steps to take. To speak to one of our team, call us today for a free consultation on 01491 630000 (Henley-on-Thames), 020 7070 0330 (Central London), 0118 418 1000 (Reading), 01753 325000 (Windsor) or 01256 584000 (Basingstoke).

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