Karen* and Matthew* recently celebrated 22 years of marriage. They have grown up sons (now aged 18 and 15 years) that have been raised in a stable and happy home environment with a couple that confidently state, “We have a great relationship and work well as a team bringing up the boys.”
But it wasn’t always the case. 17 years ago Karen and Matthew’s relationship was very much at risk of falling apart. They’d married soon after meeting and quickly realised they had quite different communication styles. When they disagreed, Matthew tended to become argumentative, while Karen would retreat, preferring to sulk when she felt she wasn’t being listened to.
Consequently they struggled to resolve issues and instead resorted to blaming each other for not listening.
This cycle of disagreement and frustration was only exacerbated with the arrival of a child. Parenthood brought about its own challenges as they both struggled to come to terms with their new roles and responsibilities.
Both were committed to making their relationship work and they desperately wanted to live more harmoniously for the sake of their son – but something had to change. So they decided to give couples counselling at Home & Family Counselling a try.
The counselling helped get their relationship back on track. Says Karen, “Counselling taught us to communicate better and really hear what the other person was saying. We learned to respect each other’s opinions and differences.”
Looking back Karen says, “I know if we hadn’t taken the step and gone to Home and Family we wouldn’t have had the tools to keep working at it. So we’ve always been really pleased for having given counselling a go.”
Karen’s Advice for couples counselling
“If you think your relationship could be improved, I’d say take the step and get counselling. However, be prepared to work at it as well.
Counselling’s not a magic cure, rather it gives you the tools to make it work.”