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RELATE counselling

(38 Posts)
HoldMeDown Mon 27-Jul-15 09:01:06

Does anyone have any experience of going to these sessions to fix their relationship/marriage?
I've heard mixed reactions so far...

SandBetweenMyt0es Mon 27-Jul-15 11:05:02

No experience at all, sorry OP, but would be interested to hear if anyone else has..

Whatabout Mon 27-Jul-15 11:06:24

Went to the initial assessment, it was helpful to a degree and our relationship has survived.

SandBetweenMyt0es Mon 27-Jul-15 11:08:26

What happened at the assessment whatabout?

Whatabout Mon 27-Jul-15 11:28:59

We discussed what our issues were and what we wanted from our relationship and what we were doing to work on it. We then had the option of going to sessions or waiting and then deciding if we needed them. We were working hard to put things back together and she acknowledged that at that point we were doing all the things they would suggest and that we didn't need extra help. I was pleased that she reassured us and left the door open for us to decide what happened next. I would go back to them as it was useful having someone calm and impartial.

MyGastIsFlabbered Mon 27-Jul-15 11:30:38

We went 2 years ago, I thought it was helpful at the time, but now I feel it just postponed the inevitable as we separated 4 months ago.

BeCarefulWithThat Mon 27-Jul-15 11:32:02

I went alone after separating from (but still having some kind of relationship with) my H. It was very helpful to go alone and it allowed me to say stuff I couldn't have said in front of H. Ultimately I decided to end the relationship. Wasn't easy though.

Moopsboopsmum Mon 27-Jul-15 11:44:05

We went and it made us realise we did not want to be together. Ex DH then went to therapy on his own recommended by RELATE and it really helped him.

SandBetweenMyt0es Mon 27-Jul-15 14:10:22

Thanks that's really helpful. I hadn't really thought about it but going alone might be quite useful.

AnotherEmma Mon 27-Jul-15 14:14:22

Yes and it was helpful. We are still together but whatever happens I think it's a good idea. Good luck!

Lozy79 Mon 27-Jul-15 14:15:02

I want to go too as a couple, but dh is reluctant. Was wondering of there would be any benefit to me going alone?

MyDogAteMyBelt Mon 27-Jul-15 14:17:32

Lozy it can be beneficial to go alone, although your DH being reluctant is something to closely consider. Why is he reluctant?

Manic3mum Mon 27-Jul-15 14:19:28

We are going tonight - at DH suggestion. Im apprehensive to say the least. Will report back.

RealityCheque Mon 27-Jul-15 14:22:28

Yes, have been.

Utter waste of time. And money.

HoldMeDown Mon 27-Jul-15 17:02:31

Thanks for replies. We went to initial assessment and found it really helpful. Weird thing is, since we booked that first one, we have got on better and been more 'in love' than we have in the past 3 years!! Very weird!
We have our first proper session tomorrow morning and we're both sort of looking forward to it.
Will keep you posted on how it goes...

TwoNoisyBoys Mon 27-Jul-15 20:20:03

I had a disastrous experience....my ExDH got his story in first, and the counsellor took his side immediately. I didn't build any kind of relationship with her....she used to spend every session sympathising with him, and I could never get a word in edgeways. Like many abusers, he has an utterly charming side too, and she completely fell for it. One time he was moaning that I didn't like him going for 'a pint' on a Friday after a week of hard work) even to the point of saying that if he thought him going for a drink would lead to an argument, maybe it would be better if he didn't come home at all on Fridays!!! ����
I put up with it for 3 months, then snapped at one session and told her the reason I didn't like him going for 'a pint' was because it was usually 8-10 pints, and he was a nasty abusive drunk, who'd not stop drinking until he fell down, usually around 2-3am. I also mentioned that the previous weekend, this had happened, he'd come home, dragged me out of bed to clean up where he'd pissed all over the landing carpet then when I'd refused, tried to push me down the stairs. She paled and asked if there'd ever been domestic violence in the marriage before....when I replied "yes" she asked why I hadn't mentioned it and I said "Because you took his side immediately and never asked me ANYTHING!!" She literally blanched, threw a load of Women's Aid leaflets at me and couldn't get out of there quick enough.
She was utterly shit, and I haven't heard any decent first hand reports from anyone else I know that have been, either.
(It took a further 6 years to pluck up the courage to leave him, btw.)
As you can probably tell, I'm still pretty riled by the experience!

HoldMeDown Mon 27-Jul-15 21:25:22

Noisy boys that sounds like a pretty shit encounter!! Thankfully, our situation isn't nearly as harrowing(if that's the right word?) as yours. Mainly just arguing over the same crap all the time and never actually resolving anything! Since having kids, we forgot that we actually love each other and used to be a couple, not just mum and dad!
It may have taken you 6 years to leave him but good on you for doing it!x

Lozy79 Mon 27-Jul-15 21:46:28

2 boys, what an awful experience. My dh thinks the counsellors favour the women, not your experience then. We argue a lot and we deal with tensions differently, we need to find a way to deal with them, but I'm at a loss how, we both firmly believe the other is at fault. I'm not sure going alone will achieve much as he's the one that needs to change lol!!! confused

TwoNoisyBoys Mon 27-Jul-15 23:05:36

Thanks.....yes, it was pretty grim! We've been separated for three years, divorced for two, so I'm going back 9-10 years, hopefully the system is better now! Hope you both get your issues resolved, and you overcome your difficulties.
I'm actually training to be a counsellor now, so if anything, at least it taught me what NOT to do grin

Destinysdaughter Mon 27-Jul-15 23:14:11

Relate have a policy of not working with couples where there is domestic abuse. I don't know how they check this however. Also they do use people who are training so you will get some people who are novices. I'd ask to see someone with a lot of experience if possible. Also like anything, some counsellors are better than others.

HoldMeDown Mon 27-Jul-15 23:18:00

We warmed to ours very quickly. Both felt comfortable talking to her and to each other with her there. We both agreed if we weren't happy then we'd find another counsellor.
Good for you noisy boys! That must be really interesting x

reddaisy Mon 27-Jul-15 23:20:31

Glad it went well, OP. We went to Relate and it was awful - she also sided with DH (even he could see that) so it rendered the whole experience completely pointless.

HoldMeDown Mon 27-Jul-15 23:38:28

Well, I'm right, so she'd be a fool to side with OH! wink

PoundingTheStreets Mon 27-Jul-15 23:44:42

It does very much depend on the quality of the counsellor. If you get a good one and there aren't issues of abuse or control, it can work really, really well.

Sometimes all that's needed is for a neutral third party to tease out the issues and re-establish broken-down lines of communication.

If you go ahead and separate it can also be useful because it helps you understand where the other person is coming from and so keep the split amicable.

It's never appropriate for relationships where abuse (physical or otherwise) has been an issue. The trouble is that just as many victims aren't aware that they're even in an abusive relationship, so are some counsellors not experienced enough to pick up on it.

moreharmthangood Tue 28-Jul-15 02:14:13

More or less a complete disaster here too. We had 6 sessions and I don't think the counsellor had any understanding of how I felt ...
Basically I had had enough - was really miserable, really thought we'd be better apart. If you have read Wifework, you'll know why -basically DP made my life harder. He can be incredibly selfish and thoughtless. He basically still had a single person mentality. He would always put himself first..
Also we had issues about money - I'd become a SAHM - mainly because I couldn't do EVERYTHING for the house, the DCs, DP and work FT. DP basically just went to work - he did work long hours but I would go to bed after him and get up before him. And I was expected to eg sort out his car insurance and MOT - even when I was still working.
And after 2 years I was still paying half the bills etc from my savings - and I even had to argue to get DP to pay up his half angry
DP just wanted sex -which was off the table as far I was concerned because I was so angry and resentful.
Male counsellor asked us if we wanted to be together. I basically said I don't think I do - I still care for DP but my life would be easier without him - I'd have less to do. Counsellor then told me lots of people thought that but actually working out shared care etc would be a lot more difficult, more work than I thought it would be. My life wouldn't really be easier - I just thought it would but I would find out that was wrong. It really would be better and easier to resolve our issues...work at our relationship.
Although we talked about getting things done and roles around the house nothing did really change (it has now -still far from perfect, better but not due to RELATE!). He also said lots of stuff about how everyone had lazy days...and we needed to be understanding hmm -he really didn't 'get' it.
The only good thing to come out of it - we did sort the money out - DP gives me a fixed amount every month by standing order to pay everything. (Which suits us both - I am careful with money but DP is much worse - he finds it really hard to spend (from the Relate thing I understand- it is security, spending can make him really anxious), He would query everything - he even once asked me if we really needed shampoo (and it was cheap shampoo at that!) -this way the money goes - he doesn't have to actually spend it -and in fact he is getting better at spending anyway)
Finally - Sex - a complete and utter disaster -really did make things a million times worse. He left that till the last session - turns out he was a sex therapist too. Loved his subject. Went on about how common it was to grow apart with small children and we needed to make a date night to reconnect and spend time massaging each other etc. No excuses - you had to spend at least 30 mins just being with each other, cuddling, stroking etc. So (although I was still massively pissed off with DP) I stupidly agreed to give it a go. A date was set - a few days later -I think it should have been months later at the earliest - I was still too angry and resentful and DP hadn't had chance to 'improve' etc.
Anyway the day of our first date night DP was a selfish twat (can't even remember what it was - something typical). I was fuming - no way did I want to spend 'quality' time with him - I couldn't imagine anything worse. He threw a strop - furious that I was 'breaking my side of the deal' - remember the counsellor said no excuses. And it went down hill from then. Became a vicious cycle. I was less than keen, he was cross -not attractive or appealing- because I wasn't even trying and I had agreed. It made me feel he didn't care how I actually felt. After hideous months and months of arguments, feeling guilty and being aware it was hurtful for me to keep rejecting him - I can't explain how bad it was (for both of us). Anyway one night I agreed to sex just to keep the peace. But it made me feel like shit, I cried and then DP felt like shit too. (He went for counselling on his own somewhere else afterwards). And we still years later haven't got a sex life - I don't know if we ever will again, if we can ever get passed that. I did (do) still feel like going back there sometimes and telling the counsellor what an idiot he was ....just how much damage he did.
(I do care for DP .... I do wonder sometimes if we might be happier apart. He still pisses me off sometimes... but he is 100x better and is trying - we both are. )

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