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First Relate session coming up - could do with some advice and general stroking

(17 Posts)
StrungOutOnValium Mon 12-Oct-09 13:55:50

Finally gritted my teeth, booked a Relate appointment and coughed up my dosh. This is for the first assessment appointment, where they ask you to outline the problem and try to find out whether Relate is appropriate, etc.

I feel a bit hopeless about relationship with DP and not sure that anything can be salvaged. I'm wondering whether it's a good idea to be brutally honest about this, presumably in front of him, or whether I should try to mince my words a bit and hope that I feel more positive after a few sessions?

Anyway, any advice or words of wisdom appreciated

cestlavielife Mon 12-Oct-09 14:22:06

be brutally honest - you do yourself and him no favours if you skirt around!

get it out in the open.

gonnabehappy Mon 12-Oct-09 14:27:32

No advice - but loads of good wishes. Let us know if it helps, you as well as maybe your relationship.

countingto10 Mon 12-Oct-09 14:38:01

Just tell as it is, see what they say and go from there.

Just finished four months worth of Relate, it was very helpful although marriage is still a work in progress atm (good days and some very bad days).

Good luck.

StrungOutOnValium Mon 12-Oct-09 14:43:08

OK thanks to everyone

Do any of you have experience of going in there and saying 'this is a bunch of shite and I want out'? I'm just wondering/worried that they'll say 'Relate's not for you then, you need a mediator'.

gonnabehappy Mon 12-Oct-09 14:56:51

No - although my understanding is that they will help end relationships 'well' in addition to helping relationships last. I suspect starting off by saying you want out well and truly puts the cards on the table - can only help in the long run whatever the result - maybe?

Not sure if this is a hijack but seems relevant here. I would love to hear people's stories about using Relate, esecailly if one partner is not keen. Have a feeling they might help Strungout too so have not started another thread! Let me know if I should Strung Out!

veryconfusedandupset Mon 12-Oct-09 15:39:51

Have no experience of couples counselling but can say that when I went on my own I was amazed at the ability to generate clear thinking that it produced. I arrived not knowing if I wanted to be married to DH and thinking about all the negatives and soon discovered that although I was angry with him and there were some considerable problems I did care about him and want to be with him.

The emotional numbness I had felt for months then lifted and I began to feel affection again - don't worry about it, because that might make you feel inhibited, just say what you feel and the catharsis of it will be helpfull.

HopingForASunnyDay Mon 12-Oct-09 17:04:41


Having been to Relate myself (with DF), I can't speak highly enough of them.

I can pretty much guarantee that things will be better for you after the session than they were before. Even if that just means you have a clearer picture of things, or as veryconfused says, a sense of catharsis.

Whether you end up staying together or separating, Relate will help you to make a better job of either one.

Good luck, but be prepared to feel exhausted afterwards...

StrungOutOnValium Mon 12-Oct-09 17:40:10

Thanks for all of these. It's funny (well not really smile), I've been feeling quite sanguine and resigned, but now I've made the appointment I feel tearful and sad... might not be a bad thing I suppose.

No problems gonnabehappy, would be interesting to hear what others say! NOt sure how keen my DP is on the whole thing - suppose I will find out at the session. Talking, about anything, is not his strong suit.

hairyclaireyfairy Mon 12-Oct-09 23:14:49

We went to relate about 5 years ago, had about 12 sessions and it certainly saved our marriage but we wanted to save it. I believe it can also be useful if you have decided to finish the relationship and can be used as a kind of mediation.
Good Luck

Olihan Mon 12-Oct-09 23:28:18

Definitely be honest. We're partway through our sessions atm and I felt very much the same as you when we first went. I kind of suggested it as a way of showing I'd tried but I was 99.9% certain we were finished and the sessions were just a way of finalising things.

BUT, 4 weeks in and things between us are a million times improved. We're getting on better than we have done for years and years, we've aired grievances that have been festering for a long, long time and we're finally working out how to talk to each other properly. We've also been forced to listen to each other - issues that have been a huge source of friction for most of our marriage (the ones that come up over and over, you talk about them but can never quite understand the other person's viewpoint) are sorted because we've HAD to stop and listen and digest what each other is saying, rather than trying to defend ourselves, iyswim.

Don't get me wrong, we've still got a good way to go but we are definitely getting there and the constant voice in my head telling me we shouldn't be together has gone.

It's a hard, emotional process and I still get a bit strung out before each session, mainly because I'm having to face up to things I've buried for a long time.

I'd really recommend it, it's more than worth the money whichever way it eventually goes but you do have to be honest about how you are feeling and be prepared to face up to some pretty uncomfortable truths about yourself.

Olihan Mon 12-Oct-09 23:32:51

Sorry, in all tht rambling, I didn't actually say that I did go into the initial session and say I thought it was over. I'd already told dh I thought we needed to split up so it was a case of going in and saying 'I want out, this is why.......' and it wasn't a complete bolt from the blue for him.

StrungOutOnValium Tue 13-Oct-09 09:43:22

Thank you both

That's very interesting Olihan, thanks. Good to know that there might be a way through this. I feel very distanced from DP at the moment - not much to say to him, no desire for him, feel like he's my not-very-close brother or something - so it's hard to imagine wanting to stay at the moment, but it's sort of encouraging to know that that might not always be the case. Good point about being prepared for uncomfortable truths about myself too, thanks.

cestlavielife Tue 13-Oct-09 10:52:43

oh and get your baby sitter to stay on for at least half hour or an hour or so after the session - you might both need time either to go off each alone to walk and think - or to have some time together afterwards ....

you dont want to go straight from intense sesion into the day to day routine...

and it might be good to plan that you both have some time alone afterwards to take it all in.

HoneySocks Tue 13-Oct-09 22:14:14

hi there, just had two relate sessions- one tonight and first one last week and felt just like you did but was very blunt last week, and am glad that i was as felt a weight lift after a few days. we were much happier this week and i think that in time we will make some progress. really enjoyed the session tonight though it is draining. but feel that it is something we really need to do to say at least we tried it if nothing else.

Deadworm Tue 13-Oct-09 22:14:32

I've had the experience of being too forthright and saying things that are a little too much to be easily moved past. So I would caution against brutal honesty.

I wouldn't caution against honesty, though, albeit without the brutality. You need to tell the truth, but perhaps without giving full expression to your negativity. If that is a possible route to steer.

I went to Relate years ago and found it just a little bit helpful. Just talking to someone in front of a mediator made us a bit clearer and more constructive, but the counsellor didn't actually bring any thing to the table.

Deadworm Tue 13-Oct-09 22:18:18

Oh and Relate do help with discussing separation/divorce too, I think. they won't just say 'if you are not staying together we can't help.'

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