Interpersonal relationships in India have always been considered sacred and people are not encouraged to share their problems outside the four walls of their home. This has led to a large amount of stigma and taboo associated with relationships especially in the Indian context.
Seeking help from professionals for relationship issues has not been encouraged. Hence leading many people to feel hesitant at the thought of involving a third person into their relationship. However, doing this can be beneficial for many reasons and it should definitely be encouraged to better help both the partners understand each other in the relationship.
Some reasons to involve a counsellor in relationships include:
#1 Counsellors maintain a neutral stance without taking anyone’s side in particular. This means that the counsellor remains impartial to what is being said by both partners while still remaining as close as possible to their opinions. A counsellor is also able to provide objective opinions and help people look at their problems from a neutral or different perspective.
#2 A counsellor builds a safe space for both partners to speak about their own concerns freely, honestly and without any judgement. Counselling helps a couple to address and table their individual opinions about the relationship in a safe environment. They can provide a safe space for people to work through their difficulties and re-establish communication. Couples can replicate this similar safe space in their lives outside of the therapy too.
#3 Difficult conversations don’t turn into fights or arguments in the presence of a professional. These kinds of conversations are handled in a mutually respectful way by counsellors. Counsellors act as mediators or guiding forces between the two partners and help them utilize skills, set short term goals or come up with healthy strategies to work on the relationship in a better way.
#4 A counsellor can also help restore trust between two partners if they have undergone trust breaking issues such as infidelity. Seeking the services of a couples therapist ensures both parties can regain trust in a positive and healthy way. This will keep the relationship moving in the forward direction, even after the trust was broken. If future issues do arise, couples will then not resort to losing trust or blaming the other party with respect to prior behaviors. The relationship can truly grow and move forward which is something very difficult to do without the help of a trained counselor.
#5 Couples therapy cannot be considered magic. It is not a sure or definite solution to all the problems in a relationship. There’s no guarantee that it will yield only positive outcomes for both partners. However, it might be good to try a few sessions to see if you are willing to give it what it takes to make the relationship work. However, if you feel that the relationship is not meant to be, then a counsellor can help you make this decision and receive mutual closure to the relationship that both partners deserve.
#6 Lastly, couples therapy provides each of the partners a good opportunity and space to work through their own individual issues that might be affecting their relationship jointly. In such cases, individual sessions can be arranged for that person.
In conclusion, it takes two to make a relationship work effectively. Many couples feel that it is a waste of time, effort and money, also it is ‘wrong’ to tell someone about their own marriage problems, but the truth is, a marriage sometimes needs a third perspective.
Don’t look at couple or marriage counselling as an exercise. Rather believe that this is probably the chance you both can give yourselves to fall in love all over again.