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Is Marriage Counselling any good? And how do I go about getting it?

(33 Posts)
cupcakes Wed 16-Feb-05 14:20:37

I really don't want to split up with my dh but am so unhappy about the constant disagreements and rows we are having. Feel that maybe we should have counselling as we never resolve anything for more than a couple of days. Dh however is very reluctant so I haven't really pursued it. I don't know how I could persuade him to go. He insists that everything is fine and that we're both just a bit tired and stressed at the moment. I disagree and think he is burying his head in the sand. I hope that counselling could help us mend things before they do get bad.
Should I contact Relate directly or go through my gp? Are there any other organisations or ways of finding counsellors?
And does it help?

JasminesMummy Wed 16-Feb-05 16:01:05

I feel like I'm reading something I have written myself!
Can't be much help other than that my GP told me to contact Relate myself - nothing to do with him.
I really feel like we're in the same place and can only empathise with you - you are most definitely not alone!
Let me know how you get on...

lalaa Wed 16-Feb-05 16:15:21

Go to Relate directly. Other counsellors - registered ones will be listed at the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy. I think it's this .

cupcakes Wed 16-Feb-05 16:56:59

That link by the way goes to Barnsley Community Partnerships - is that right???
Talked about counselling again with my dh since posting first message. He gets v upset by the thought of taking to somebody else. He is very private. I saw on Relate's website that they do books and (for the time being) we have compromised on reading instead of seeing any one. He assures me that he will read a book on this subject (as will I) and we will take it from there.
Can anybody tell me what is the best book to read?
I am considering the Stop Arguing, Start Talking one (here ) but can anyone recommend any other books?
Am not convinced about this as the best route but at least it's something he's willing to participate in.

paolosgirl Wed 16-Feb-05 16:58:54

From personal experience, I would honestly say that it only works if both of you want it to work. Sorry..

cupcakes Wed 16-Feb-05 16:59:53

He wants our marriage to work. Does that count at all?

paolosgirl Wed 16-Feb-05 17:06:09

I meant more the's a very unnatural situation, and it can be quite emotionally draining to discuss your marriage with a complete stranger. I think it takes quite a lot of commitment to the counselling process for it to work - if that makes sense...

cupcakes Wed 16-Feb-05 17:17:02

thank you paolosgirl - I saw what you meant and I was hoping that if he was well intentioned (in our relationship) that it would work in counselling. But I take your point that it might not. I can see him clamming up and us not getting anywhere.
I just feel so frustrated with how things are at the moment. It makes me feel very sad and I want to do something constructive to help mend things. He says that he doesn't know what he'd say (I, on the other hand know exactly what I would say...).
I am also worried that I want to go in the hope that I would feel better about feeling bad (iyswim!). I'm the one with the temper and it's usually my fault that rows escalate into arguments. Maybe I'm hoping for someone to justify this to him... I'm probably not ready to hear from a stranger that it's all my fault.
But I do want to make things better.

orangina Thu 17-Feb-05 12:57:34

cupcakes, I don't know anything about your circumstances obviously, but I just wanted to say that whatever problems you and your dh might be having in your relationship, it is NEVER just 1 persons fault! You might have anger management issues (sorry for the psychobabble talk) that need addresing, but then there will be other things that might be coming from your dh that will also need addressing. I have been through a fair bit of counselling in the past, both by myself and with dh, and though it's been a bit rough sometimes and it IS a committment (sp?), it has been invaluable. My advice would be (for what it's worth) don't let things get to a crisis point before you get some help, as that will invariably result in the whole process starting off in a confrontational manner, rather than something relatively calm, where you are able to discuss what you feel your problems are and what you might like to achieve by addressing them in the "safe" forum of relate/marraige guidance/couselling/whatever....
Best of luck, hope you sort out everything...

paolosgirl Thu 17-Feb-05 13:30:15

Could you suggest that you go for a few sessions, to see how things go? If you/he/both of you decide that it's not for you, then at least you've given it a shot.
Counsellors are trained to deal with all sorts of issues, and may help you to see things from another perspective, or give you ideas on how to resolve some of the issues that are causing the problems.
Sometimes all it needs is someone who is not emotionally involved with either of you to help. Good luck

cupcakes Fri 18-Feb-05 09:24:52

Thank you for your posts. As we've managed not to have a row for two days it has kind of slipped to the back of my mind but am still considering it. Am also pondering over the thought that my anger/ temper needs addressing. Uncomfortable but there you go!
Am wondering whether to get some counselling on my own. If dh is reluctant it may not resolve much to make him go initially but maybe I could do something about my contributions to the rows.

JasminesMummy Fri 18-Feb-05 13:46:07

This is exactly what I decided to do back in December. My GP referred me to the practice counsellor and when i enquired this week apparently I should get an appt in a couple of weeks. (takes a long time!!)
I'll let you know how it goes -with me it's lack of patience with dh.

Toothache Fri 18-Feb-05 13:55:31

Cupcakes - DH and I have an appointment with RELATE's Scottish Equivalent on 1st March. I just told DH that I couldn't go on like that anymore. The lack of respect, the arguing, the resentment. It's all been building up. Like your DH, mine thinks that it's just a temporary thing and that as long as we apologies after an argument then that's it resolved. I can't put up with it anymore and booked the appoitment myself. I phoned them direct.

I told DH about the appointment and why I thought we needed it. There was lots of tears (from me) and he finally saw that perhaps this was a bit more serious. He is as keen as I am to have someone mediate and ....whatever else it is they do!

So I can't answer you at the moment, but hopefully after the 1st of March I'll know more!!

Helsbels Fri 18-Feb-05 13:58:33

cupcakes - I do e-counselling if you ever need to talk just send me an e-mail via the site - sometimes just talking to someone you don't know can help and if I can help in any way I'd be glad to try

cupcakes Fri 18-Feb-05 19:35:22

Thank you, Helsbels.
Good luck Toothache and JasminesMummy.
I know what you mean about the patience - it takes so little to tick me off. Sometimes I really feel it's my fault (afterwards, never at the time!) as he's never really cruel or horrible. Just so thoughtless and snappy - and we really seem to wind each other up at the moment. We always end up bickering about how one of us spoke to the other rather than whatever instigated the row. ie, 'well, you interupted me', 'you're not listening' or 'it's not my fault'.
To be honest it's just so tedious and draining.

gardengirl Sat 19-Feb-05 19:34:37

Dear cupcakes
have just seen your thread as have not been on Mumsnet for a while. DH and me spilt up a few weeks ago - despite this we are going back to Relate.
There is so much still unresolved between us, and so much hurt and misery that we are going to go back to see if it can help us decide whether to separate finally or try to make another go of things.
Like orangina I have had a fair bit of counselling before, alone and with dh, and if you find a counsellor you feel happy with it can be a great help. Just having someone who is not involved to talk with can really help.
If your dh won't go, you can probably go alone to Relate start with. I went for an initial meeting alone, then persuaded dh to come and we kept going until redundancy knocked him for six in a different way. Maybe if that hadn't happened and we had stuck at it with Relate, he would not have left.
Anyway I really think if you as unhappy as you sound, it's worth a try.
You will find details of your local Relate in the phone book or on the Net.
Hope this helps

cupcakes Sun 20-Feb-05 18:33:41

Thank you gardengirl. Good luck with the counselling.
I am thinking of going on my own and seeing what it is like. Might read some of the book first.
Thanks again.

adamkylesmum Thu 24-Feb-05 12:36:41

i am new to mumsnet but would like to ask if anyone knows how i can persuade my hubby to come for counselling. i have gone as far as i can with it on my own & my counsellor says we need to both go to somewhere like relate but my hubby point blank refuses. he is the sort to bottle things up & not talk to anyone & he had a bad experience with counselling in the past. by the way he wont read books either - just car magasines! i think he thinks it will all go away if he ignores it!

Toothache Tue 01-Mar-05 09:02:58

DH & I have our first counselling session tonight and I am TERRIFIED!! What of though? Finding out our marriage really is over?? Or finding out I'm the one to blame and I'm treating DH badly?? Or hearing things from DH that I'd rather not hear??

All of the above. Should I have made a list of things to talk about?

Toothache Tue 01-Mar-05 12:59:33


Anyone have any advice??.... I am really frightened and worried about this evening.

Toothache Tue 01-Mar-05 15:08:59

Ho hum.... everyone is too distracted with all this bottle v breast mallarky.

I'll post tomorrow about how we get on.

Pamina3 Tue 01-Mar-05 15:10:21

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ggglimpopo Tue 01-Mar-05 15:16:05

Message withdrawn

Toothache Tue 01-Mar-05 15:17:45

Thanks Pamina and gggggggglliiimmmpppopooopo ;)

lol @ swigging cooking Brandy! I do have a bottle left over from my Christmas cake.

serenequeen Tue 01-Mar-05 15:17:51

good luck, toothache.

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