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Counselling to confirm relationship is over?

(18 Posts)
sipofwine Mon 27-May-13 19:02:57

My partner of eight years and I are still living together but only for the sake of the children and, though things are fairly amicable - now - we are in a stalemate situation. I feel like I'm in limbo. I said I wanted us to separate in January and he was completely devastated about living away from children for part of the week etc (which I understand, obviously). Because of the fact that it seems like such a massive thing to do, we have basically just stayed in the same house and not discussed the future, though I know we need to imminently. I talked to a friend about it recently and she suggested that I go alone for counselling, even though I am sure that I definitely do want to separate, because she says it will help me to put plans in place, confirm that/if it's the right thing to do and help us both to move on. She also thinks it will help me once I am single again in terms of moving on emotionally and for possible future relationships.

She thinks I could be referred by my GP for this (as I can't afford to pay) but it feels a bit self-indulgent and 'cheeky' to do this. I must admit that I do feel depressed some of the time and am still confused about whether i'm doing the right thing (even though I don't want to be with this man - but feel so guilty about the children, him having to move out etc etc). Does anyone have experience of counselling in these circumstances and do you feel it can be helpful?

Leverette Mon 27-May-13 19:28:52

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Leverette Mon 27-May-13 19:30:04

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SugarandSpice126 Mon 27-May-13 20:03:52

I think living in a house with someone you want to be separated from will always be stressful, and getting counselling is definitely not cheeky nor self indulgent! And as Leverette says, the very fact you're worrying about this means your need is genuine. Do go to your GP, but if this doesn't work out, I've come across charities that offer free/reduced price counselling, so do some research online.

And don't feel you have to keep living together if it's really not working for you. You have made the difficult decision to separate and I'd get moving with reflecting this in your housing arrangements, as difficult as this may be. So to answer question, I think counselling would be helpful, but you'll only know by going along and seeing for yourself. It won't suddenly get better after one session, and you have to stick with it, but over a longer period I think it's likely to help you. Good luck!

crazyhead Mon 27-May-13 20:21:05

I had counselling at the end of an eight year relationship I knew I had to leave (no kids but a huge amount of practical and emotional 'unravelling'). It really helped, and afterwards, in the inevitable period when life was tough and messy and I was questioning my decisions etc, going back in my mind to that careful thinking and talking process really helped me.

I was also living with ex. When I finally moved out, the counsellor said I looked as though years had been lifted off me. It is so so hard, living with a wreckage like that and seeing that person every day, so don't underestimate the impact on you.

I also think that counselling helped to clarify my own part in the breakdown - in choosing the wrong situation for me and in behaving in ways that didn't help. It changed the sort of dynamic I went for in relationships, and that led me to get together with my OH, who makes me incredibly happy. xx

All the best, whatever you decide.

sipofwine Mon 27-May-13 21:21:18

Thanks so much for these replies, they are really helpful. I feel spurred on now to go and talk to her. Did you actually ask for counselling or talk through the options? I don't want to take pills for depression so hope she will be open to the idea of referral.

verygentlydoesit Mon 27-May-13 21:34:30

Another person who has been very much helped by counselling here. I'm not in exactly the same circumstances as you, I've on the verge of facing up to splitting g up with my partner. My therapist hasn't pushed me towards this decision- she's very skilfully helped me unravel the mess in my head leading me to realise that I've actually very little choice if I want to make the most of my life.

My GP was happy to refer me but explained that there was a long waiting list. I've paid for the sessions myself, it is quite expensive but it is worth every single penny.

I'm obviously no expert but I would say that you may well find some form of psychotherapy much more helpful than counselling. I know it sounds much more drastic but these people are experts at helping with the unravelling, rather than just listening and supporting.

Good luck OP.

crazyhead Mon 27-May-13 21:39:05

I actually went to a counsellor directly. A lot of counselling services are run on a pay what you can afford basis, so they don't have to work out as too much money and I was able to pay.

But I'd have happily talked to the GP for an NHS referral - if you are feeling awful due to a life event it is clearly a better course to take! I think the main issue can be the waiting list, but I would just ask. A few friends of mine have had GP referred counselling.

It isn't at all self indulgent. It is a dreadfully hard time in your life, and looking for proper support and space to think is very sensible.

sipofwine Mon 27-May-13 21:40:50

Thank you, Very. I agree - I have limited knowledge too but don't want someone to just listen. I want someone to challenge/probe me. I feel that I have my own 'issues' and so hope that this may help me to 'be more comfortable in my own skin' for the future.

sipofwine Mon 27-May-13 21:42:58

Thank you, Crazyhead. This has really spurred me on.

A1980 Mon 27-May-13 22:06:01

Try marriage care

There is no fixed fee if you can't pay much.

cluecu Mon 27-May-13 22:56:42

I went for relationship counselling years ago after a very complicated relationship where it seemed the only way to sort things out. I remember one session had gone well and ex was really positive afterwards and I suddenly felt very aware that I didn't want the relationship to work. Things got sorted and we eventually split amicably but I think it helped us to do that and would recommend counselling in most circumstances.

cluecu Mon 27-May-13 22:57:45

what I mean is I was so confused that it helped make sense of the mess smile

Dilidali Mon 27-May-13 23:01:14

Try RELATE. They look at your situation and there are allowances.

changeforthebetter Mon 27-May-13 23:22:17

Marriage Care is partially funded by the Catholic Church. We had 3 Relate counsellors - each useless and bamboozled by X's intellectualising bombast.

Lonecatwithkitten Mon 27-May-13 23:27:28

When ExH and I went to relate they told us that 50% of couples they see do not end up staying together.
The relate counsellor we saw in my eyes was brilliant even though they are non-judgemental he left ExH in no uncertain terms that his inability to stop his 'friendship' with OW was unreasonable if he wanted to try and save our marriage.

2rebecca Tue 28-May-13 08:18:54

I'd agree with the 2 of you going to Relate. That will help as the 2 of you will have to discuss how you see your relationship together.
Areas of the NHS differ in the "counselling" services available. My area doesn't have counselling just clinical psychologists for CBT and there is a 1 year waiting list for that. If you phone your surgery the receptionist should be able to find out(if she doesn't know) what talking therapies are available locally.
Often in a relationship breakdown one person tries to stop the separation. If you want to separate you will have to be prepared to do most of the work towards that yourself and see a solicitor about how to move forward.

jayho Tue 28-May-13 08:24:09

My first ex and I went to joint counselling at what turned out to be the end of our relationship. It really helped. We were able to unravel what was and wasn't fixable and came to the sad conclusion that it wouldn't work. After some time to heal we're now really good friends

Our GP has an on site counsellor, it's free, see if yours does.

Good luck

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