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What Can I Expect from Appointment With Marriage Counselor Tomorrow?

(20 Posts)
expatkat Tue 11-Jan-05 17:53:51

GP referred dh and me to to the surgery's Marriage Counselor after I came into the surgery one day in November feeling ready to collapse from having not properly eaten or slept for a few weeks due to relationship worries. Worries continue, though symptoms are less dramatic, and appointment is tomorrow.

I find it strange that the counselor wants to see us both together. It will be difficult to voice concerns of the sort that might hurt dh. I thought it might make more sense for us each to meet her individually first, then as a couple later, but I suppose that's not the way it works.

Not in the mood for surprises, so do tell me what to expect, if anyone knows. TIA.

lowcalCOD Tue 11-Jan-05 17:54:50

Poor you
hope its all ok

weightwatchingwaterwitch Tue 11-Jan-05 17:59:43

No idea expatkat, but I just wanted to say sorry you've been having an awful time. I think you probably have to be honest at these things otherwise there doesn't seem much point. A friend of mine has spent the best part of the last year having marriage counselling and has found it incredibly enlightening and helpful. They haven't got back together but she still thinks it was worthwhile as she understands her h a lot better and why he's the person he is and has behaved the way he has. I think it's important you like or at least warm to the counsellor and feel able to trust them, which my friend did. Good luck.

ScummyMummy Tue 11-Jan-05 18:02:00

Good luck, epk. Not sure how it will work but a good counsellor will know how to proceed with both of you, I'm sure. Really hope it helps.

ladymuck Tue 11-Jan-05 18:31:18

First one is sort of getting to know you. We were asked to describe how we met and what we liked about each other at that stage, and also why we got married. We were then each asked (in front of the other) what we thought the main thing we wanted to work on was.

We then worked separately for a bit.


lulupop Tue 11-Jan-05 19:11:37

It is hard at first to say things you think will hurt your dh, but you have to get your head round it, as that is what you're there for, and the cousellor is trained to make the room a sort of "safe forum" to discuss the difficult issues.

I found it quite helpful in as much as, during the sessions, I was able to bring up issues which at home would have been an instant slanging match, but sadly for us, that level of communication never extended beyond the sessions. H would agree in the room to do X or Y, but then just revert to type as soon as we left the room.

Hopefully if you are both prepared to make some changes, though, it could help a lot.

Be prepared for an emotionally draining session. But if you look at it as the start of something better, it could be very invigorating for you. Good luck.

SofiaAmes Tue 11-Jan-05 22:33:04

Dh and I went to a marriage counsellor (relate) together last year to work out a few issues and it was great. She started by asking why we were there and what we were expecting from the counselling. And then asked a bit about each of us and what issues we had.
It was mostly me with issues about dh, but because they were being brought up in a non-confrontational environment I didn't feel bad bringing them up. And interestingly dh didn't get defensive either. I can't imagine having gone on my own, or dh on his own...the issues were about us. However, after a handful of sessions together, dh started going to her regularly on his own and it's been really good for him and therefore good for us. It wouldn't have worked if he had just gone on his own in the beginning. Most of the issues boiled down to communication (and dh's c**p childhood) and she helped us find tools to communicate better and for dh to recognize how his past was influencing his behavior towards me and the children and others around him.
I highly recommend marriage counselling and think that it can help all couples. Most of the time unfortunately I think people go far too late once the problems are really too far gone to be fixable.
good luck

bron42 Tue 11-Jan-05 23:04:45

Ditto SoffiaAmes. Similar situation. DH and I went to Relate towards the end of last year and spent the first session talking about what it was that brought us together and why we ended up in the chair wanting help for our marriage. After six sessions, she gave us the tools that we could use to improve our communication (which turned out to be the main reason for the breakdown in the marriage) but it also gives you the space to talk openly without feeling that you will be shouted down or misunderstood as the counsellor repeats back a lot of what you say making more sense to both parties. Sorry it I am garbled, late night! Best of luck. As the counsellor said to us, the hardest part was making the appointment

expatkat Tue 11-Jan-05 23:56:28

Thank you, everyone, for the support and also for the preparation.

Marina Wed 12-Jan-05 14:57:15

No experience but best of luck, epk. A lot of the accounts here suggest it could be a very positive step for you both. So sorry things have been so difficult lately.

KateandtheGirls Wed 12-Jan-05 15:14:36

Hope it went well Kat.

expatkat Wed 12-Jan-05 17:06:08

The appointment was exactly as you all had said, and now we're being referred to another clinic for further counseling. Thanks again, everyone. We'll see how it goes.

SofiaAmes Wed 12-Jan-05 22:59:07

expatkat, if you have to pay for the sessions yourself, we found that the "private" rate was only £10 or so more a session than the relate rate and it meant that not only did we not have to go on a waiting list, but we could schedule sessions when we wanted and with the woman that we originally met with whom we both really liked.

expatkat Wed 12-Jan-05 23:01:30

Dh has such dreadful work hours--plus I'm off to the US for 3 months in the spring--that we're going to go for the quickest, most convenient route, even if it means paying a bit more. So we'd pretty much had the same thought, sofia; thanks for the tip.

SofiaAmes Thu 13-Jan-05 10:43:53

I don't know if Acton is too far for you, but the woman that we've been using is really great. Let me know if you want her info.

fatbetty Mon 17-Jan-05 07:58:36

Glad to hear that your experience went well, expatkat.

I've been thinking about going to marriage counselling with dh as all we seem to do is argue at the moment and we just never seem to find resolution to our problems. I just don't know where to begin though. How do you find a marriage counsellor? Is it best to go to your GP to get a referral? My dh's work schedule is crazy too - do they offer evening or weekend appointments?

SofiaAmes Tue 18-Jan-05 00:19:06

Call your local Relate office. You can find them online.

expatkat Tue 18-Jan-05 00:24:18

Sofia's advice may be on the mark. The GP referral i sought is leading me down a winding and bureaucratic path. We saw the practice at the counselor, who then gave us the name of a clinic where we need to "self refer." She warned us then this clinic will then refer us on to someone else.

This means we'll have to tell our story to 3 dif counselors before we get anywhere.

And frankly my enthusiasm is waning! Dh's too.

Probably we should have called Relate first thing, but GP recommended doing it this way. . .

expatkat Tue 18-Jan-05 00:43:25

the counselor at the pracitce, even!

essbee Tue 18-Jan-05 00:47:39

Message withdrawn

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