Are we too late for relationship counselling?

The short answer is “no”.  However, studies have shown that the average persons waits two weeks before seeing a doctor regarding a medical problem and up to six years before they seek help for personal or relationship issue.  Even in the presents of a loved one struggling with a serious addiction some families can wait up to seven to ten years before seeking help.  Reasons being that many people and families find it easier to accommodate the addiction or challenging behaviour rather  than confront the problem head on.

This often means that when a couple, family or individual eventually comes to visit a counsellor there can be a significant  history of resentment, frustration and failed attempts to deal with things.  On some occasions one partner can feel so stressed and exhausted with trying in their situation that that don’t feel they have any more energy left to work on their relationship. This in combination with a feeling that there is almost no hope that their partner is going to make any changes, as they have tried their best already to ask for some changes, without any reasonable results, can leave them feeling that they just don’t have it in them to keep trying.

Having said that, most of us realise that splitting up is not exactly an easy solution either, with huge negative effects on members of the family, as well as financial, personal and social disadvantages.

A trained counsellor can offer a way through this to give you the opportunity to see what the potential of your relationship is, for a win-win relationship for both of you, without the exhausted partner feeling they have to commit indefinitely to a long unknown process.

Usually, in every relationship, there are good aspects, which most couples would like to preserve. Then there are also problematic aspects which need resolving in an effective way.

However, if no progress is made and separation occurs it is often easier to deal with the after effects of a break-up  if you feel you have given it every effort to work, and some couples who go through counselling even if the outcome of the relationship might be separation tend to have a better post divorce relationship and therefore much better co-parenting relationship. 

Source David Schnarch, PhD: “Passionate Marriage”