How Seeking Relationship Counselling Makes Your Relationship Stronger
Relationship Counselling is Not Evidence of a Failing Relationship.
Most people take relationship counselling to be a bad omen for a couple, especially in an unmarried relationship. The explicit acknowledgement that you’ve got problems feels like a bad thing because by seeking it out, you’re admitting that you’ve got problems you can’t solve alone. It feels like an admission of defeat, like if you can’t solve this; then the relationship might as well be over anyway. If you’ve got relationship problems that you are struggling to solve, challenging your views on the nature of relationship counselling, and what it says about your relationship can prove central to strengthening your relationship.
Your Expectations of Yourself and Your Partner are a Problem:
People generally have very flawed expectations of what strong relationships are supposed to look like. Re-establishing these expectations both with respect to your role and your partners is the first ‘work’ to perform to strengthening your relationship
Informed by pop culture, movies, music; our culture established a comically flawed idea of what committed relationships are supposed to look like. We generally expect that it’s our partner’s role to come into our lives and make everything better and meet all our emotional needs. Men generally expect themselves to be strong, silent problem-solvers; while women generally expect themselves to be caring nurturers. When we fail to fall into one of these roles, we feel insecure, tense, and stressed; which only contributes to the troubles in a relationship.
Take, for example, the insecurity that prevents people from getting into counselling. Partners feel like it is their role to fix their relationship, and so seeking the help of a relationship counsellor feels like admitting that they cannot fill the role that they have set out for themselves. Like they are failing at what is expected of them.
Fix Your Expectations, Fix Your Relationship.
The first step to ‘fixing’ your relationship is to understand that many of the expectations you place
on yourself and your partner are totally illegitimate, especially if these expectations prohibit you from doing the things that need to be done to strengthen the bond between you and your partner.
Relationship counselling is not a sign that your relationship is in trouble. Fights, tension, and discontent are. Getting you and your partner into counselling is evidence that your relationship is strong and progressing, because both of you are ready and willing to put the work into making the relationship stronger.
If you value your relationship more than you value your ideas of what relationships are supposed to be; then you won’t dismiss the idea of seeking relationship counselling. This is why counselling is such a powerful statement of a couples bond with each other. Though the compulsion to hesitate due to cultural expectations is strong, the act of seeking it in spite of this feeling demonstrates that a couple’s love for each-other is stronger.
Once you adjust these expectations, you can enter into relationship counselling without the unhealthy belief that you ought to be able to fix every relationship problem without external help. Get in touch and allow Ottawa Marriage Therapists to help you move past the problems in your partnership and into the peace and contentment you deserve.