Why Can Couple’s Counseling Be like Going to a Funeral?
Sometimes couple’s who are having serious problems in their marriage or relationship, seek out counseling to try and save the relationship. Sometimes what ends up happening is the death of the relationship instead.
In the beginning there was love and hope for the future. Somewhere along the way most couples experience problems. You have the lucky couples that know how to talk and work things out. You probably won’t see many of these couples in counseling or for that matter in divorce court. Somewhere along the way they were taught really good relationship skills and they both brought this into the relationship, or marriage.
On the other-hand you have your couples that have no idea how to handle anything. They yell and scream and rarely hear each other no less end up solving a problem. As well you have couple’s that may have gone through or who are now facing a serious issue in their relationship. This can vary from sexual intimacy problems, to a death of a child, to one spouse who cheated on the other, and many more serious difficulties that many couples face.
Couples who face serious problems can handle them either by themselves, not at all because they don’t know how, or pretending they don’t exist at all through denial. Many couples unfortunately allow problems to fester for years without any solution to them in sight. This inevitably end up hurting them as individuals as well as a couple. It’ these couples that go for years without addressing and solving the problems at hand that eventually may end up in couple’s counseling. The problem here is they waited so long, and damaged the relationship so much, that sometimes the marriage or relationship cannot be saved. Too much damage has been done.
When these type of couples end up at couple’s counseling, either one or both of them really are trying to make an effort to save the relationship. There’s one of the keys, when it’s only one making the effort. Sometimes one of the partners is just so burned out form the problems they can’t see the light of day as far as saving the relationship. However, they do go out of respect for the other person, or guilt that somehow\w they should be there. Even if both partners are making the effort, the problems have gone on for so long that no matter how hard they try, it’s like beating a dead horse. Most couple’s counselors will make every effort they can to help the couple revive the relationship, all while knowing that perhaps they are there to attend a funeral, or in other words, the death of their relationship.
Sometimes when a couple is ready to end a relationship, neither one wants to be the one who says they want it to end. They really want the other one to be the bad guy that sets the whole thing in motion. Yes, it’s true, some couples that end up in couple’s counseling are knowingly there to end their relationship, it’s just never said out loud, at least in the beginning. It’s very hard for some people to believe, but some couples out of respect of the other person, fear of what the other person will feel about the situation, just will not be the one to end the relationship.
Another scenario is when one partner wants things to end, and knows the other one doesn’t. They actually set up the couples counseling sessions to tell the other person in a safe environment that they want out. Sounds cowardly to some, but everyone is different, and some are truly concerned about how their partner will take the fact, that their life together is over. They feel with the counselor there, that the counselor can handle what ever way the partner may react, and also keep things at a civil level where no one gets physically hurt. In other words it’s a more controlled environment to lower the boom
Yes, people assume that going to couple’s counseling is a positive step toward saving and creating a new relationship. However the reality is, sometimes it’s like going to a funeral, as the relationship may already be dead, and just waiting to be buried!