Marriage Problems

What Can Relationship Counselling Do For You?

Ok, let’s face it, relationships are rarely perfect and, if you’ve found that special person you want to be with, then some relationship advice can come in handy. You may need to reconcile a particular problem, maybe you’re looking for a better way to manage some parts of the relationship or perhaps things have gone a bit stale.

Of course, it’s usually possible to talk to your partner about any problems in the relationship, and sort them out between you. Taking advice from good friends and family can also help, but if you find things aren’t improving don’t be afraid to visit a third party who can look at the issue objectively.

Visiting relationship or marriage counsellors is not uncommon in today’s society and it may well save your relationship.

What to expect in your first counselling sessions

It’s totally understandable that you might find it daunting to bare your soul and reveal your inner-most hopes and fears to a stranger. You may also be worried about upsetting your partner or making the problems even worse. But remember that relationship counsellors are trained to be impartial. They will avoid taking sides on who is the victim and will not attribute blame.

The first thing your counsellor would probably ask is why you’ve chosen now to seek outside help. He/she will then proceed to ask each of you what you perceive to be the problems, and what you would like to discuss. He/she will do their best to keep you relaxed and maintain a respectful discussion.

Future sessions may delve into certain aspects such as your family life and what problems took place in the week between sessions.

If you’re thinking about seeking relationship advice then that’s a great first step, as it shows you care. The chances are that if you’ve gotten this far in your relationship, after some relationship councelling  you will soon begin to support each other in making the necessary changes.

April 20, 2014

How to Get the Most Out of Marriage Counselling

If you and your partner are considering divorce, maybe you should try getting professional relationship advice in the form of marriage counselling first. Also known as couples therapy, this form of marriage guidance can give both of you valuable insights into the troubles plaguing your relationship. Here are some ways counselling could save your marriage.

Identify the problem(s)

You may think the only thing wrong with your marriage is your partner’s long hours at the office or the way he avoids your family, but in most cases, there are issues on both sides, and couples therapy can help you to identify them. Both of you will need to speak up and say what’s bothering you — and listen when your partner does the same. It’s necessary for both partners to agree that there are problems in the relationship as well as acknowledge that they’re part of them.

Be willing to change

It takes two to tango, and it takes cooperation by both parties to repair a damaged marriage. To get the most out of marriage counselling, you must own your part of the conflict and be willing to make the behavioural changes necessary to get the relationship back on track. Each of you must be able to say, “Our marriage is worth saving, and I’ll meet you halfway.”

Have realistic expectations

Some couples expect instant results when they go in for marriage help. Well, sadly things don’t work that way, because you can’t walk into the therapist’s office, toss your credit card on their desk and say, “Fix my marriage now.” Your marriage counsellor does not have a vial of magic fairy dust that they can sprinkle over both of you and instantly solve all of your problems.

Both of you will have to be patient and willing to work on saving your marriage. You must invest time and effort into making your relationship work. Focus on the goal of a lasting marriage in which both partners are happy.

The fact that you’re seeking relationship advice and marriage help is a sign that both of you are serious about staying together and building a new, more solid relationship. A skilled marriage counsellor can help you navigate the stormy waters of a relationship in trouble, but both partners must be willing to put aside past hurts and concentrate on negotiating a more positive partnership. With the right help and a lot of determination, you may be able to make your marriage stronger than ever.

Have you ever tried marriage counselling?

September 25, 2013

Relationship advice: my husband abuses me

Relationship advice: my husband abuses me

Question: I have been with my husband for just over 4 years and married for 2 years, we have 2 children together. in the beginning it was great, but when I fell pregnant with my first child my husband started cheating on me, although till now he denies it even though I spoke to the other woman he was with while I was pregnant and she confessed all to me. However, I still stayed with him for the fact that i was pregnant with his child.
Since then nothing has changed it has just gotten worse. After I had my first child we got married due to pressure from his family (they are Muslim), but after that he became abusive to me, hit me a few times, pushed me, called me every name you can think of, but I still stayed with him, trying to keep things together for my son?s sake, then I fell pregnant with my second child, and things went from bad to worse. After I had my daughter, I have put on a bit of weight and she is now 8 months old, and since she has been born my husband hasn’t come home, I don’t know what to say to my son, he is only 2.5 years old and my daughter doesn’t even know her father, I told him that I wanted a divorce and he just laughed in my face. I want to leave him, but I don’t want to have to put up with the trouble his family will cause for me and I just don’t know what to do anymore, I am only 22 years old and I have had enough. I am scared to tell him because he can get abusive, please help me. I don’t know what to do.

Answer: There are a few issues you need to address. It sounds like you have decided that you want out of your marriage but are scared of your husband. If this is the case, you need to make contact with the Domestic Violence helpline and seek their assistance. They have trained professionals who deal with situations like yours all the time. Visit http://ofw.facs.gov.au/padv/03/telephone.html for a list of crisis / help line telephone numbers in each state.

As your husband has not been home for 8 months you can?t leave him, he?s already left you. What you didn?t explain is: has he left you in the ?care? of his family? You indicate that they have some control over you so I am wondering if you are living with them. As you are separated from your husband (I consider not coming home in eight months separation), there is nothing to stop you from initiating divorce proceedings and once you have been separated for a year you can divorce. If you show your husband you are taking steps to divorce him, he is more likely to take you seriously instead of laughing. However as you are so young and appear to feel you have been left on your own with two small children, I strongly recommend you seek help and support from qualified professionals rather than try to go it alone. A very useful book for you to read is Surviving Solo by Meredith Cameron (available from the she said bookshop http://www.seekbooks.com.au/featuredbook1.asp?StoreUrl=shesaid&bookid=073140128X&db=au, it has a list of all the contacts you will need and is a guide through the choppy waters of the break up of a relationship or marriage. Although you don?t mention your own family, if they are around and aware of the situation, perhaps they would be willing to give you emotional and practical support.

If you don?t want your marriage to end and believe there is some hope of reconciling, you need couples counselling or therapy to get your marriage back on track. From what you have written, it is clear your marriage is in serious trouble and although your husband may not want a divorce, it would appear from his desertion of you and the children that he?s not interested in being a father to the children or a husband to you. Make sure of his feelings and his commitment to your marriage, you and the children before investing your emotions and time into making the marriage work. You also need to consider that he has already been physically and emotionally violent and unless he gets help he is likely to continue to abuse you and may also abuse the children. You have a lot to consider and again I would stress that you seek professional help so you make wise choices for yourself, your son and daughter.

Relationship advice: My man is afraid of commitment

February 15, 2005

November Relationship Advice

November Relationship Advice

Question:Earlier this year my marriage ended when my husband had an affair. He ended
up blaming me because he was dissatisfied with our sex life and thought I was responsible for the issues associated with this. There were issues but I honestly don?t think our sex life was that bad and speaking to many of my friends I’m sure that it wasn?t. Sex changed as soon as we were married and I guess I felt used a lot of the time. I felt under pressure to perform and as though nothing was ever good enough (apparently it wasn?t). I am seeing a therapist and feel as though I?m working through a lot of things. I know in my head that it wasn’t my fault but sometimes it?s hard not to wonder. I’m at the stage now where I’m starting to see some people casually. I’m really lacking in confidence with regards to the sexual side of a
relationship and I?m also worried about some of the same issues I had with my husband repeating in future relationships. Sally

Answer: Sally, if you felt used and unappreciated and under pressure, did you tell your ex husband how you were feeling? If you suffered in silence or resentment, this eroded your own feelings of worth and would have contributed to your marriage ending. If you did communicate the problems to him and he chose to ignore you, then that was a clear signal there were issues in your marriage that needed attention. Frankly, this is the time you should have first sought help from a therapist or a professional relationship counsellor. Working through this with your ex may have either helped rebuild your relationship or shown you both how to end the marriage without laying blame on each other. In any relationship both people need to own their behaviour and be prepared to take responsibility and that means that you both have to take on responsibility for your part in the marriage. It is too easy to say it was entirely the other person’s fault. Feeling confident about having sex with someone new is not easy. Either wait until you feel such a close bond with someone that confidence is not an issue or jump in knowing and accepting that confidence will come in time with the right person. You need to set some standards of behaviour you expect from yourself and from others. These standards will become your personal boundaries and will make sure that you have the courage to speak up for yourself when the need arises.

By Michelle Lewis


Michelle has been one of Australia’s leading matchmakers and as a relationship expert is the founder of Date Doctors.

Her first book is The Street Guide for Flirting. We all notice that guy or girl who effortlessly breezes into a room and immediately attracts the attention of every individual there. And they’re not necessarily the best looking, wealthiest or smartest in the crowd. So what’s the secret? This guide shows you how to be the most fabulous flirt.

RRP $19.95 but only $17.96 if you buy from the SheSaid Bookshop.

November 30, 2004

What to do when your family love your ex and hoped he’d become a son in law?

What to do when your family love your ex and hoped he’d become a son in law?


Brit had the opposite problem after marrying Jason
Okay so your family were your boyfriend’s biggest fans and now your boyfriend is your ex. They thought he was perfect for you, they treated him like a visiting celebrity. Your mother cooked his favourite meals and laughed at all of his joke. Your father treated him like a mate. He bought tickets for the two of them to go to the footy together and always made sure your ex’s favourite beer was on ice in case he dropped by. The family hung on his every word and as far as you could see, in their eyes, he could do no wrong. You were congratulated by the family for being such a clever girl in hooking such a perfect guy. And now it’s over.

In this situation the fallout, hurt and confusion is not just yours, it’s shared by your family. You and your ex had become fixtures in each other’s family lives so along with the loss of what was once your happy ever after you’ll be expected to explain what happened. They’ll want to know the what, why and how of the bust up.

Often they can’t understand why the two people they thought were perfect for each other are not still together. They might feel like they had invested their own emotions in the relationship and this makes them feel like they have a right to know what went wrong.

I’m a strong believer in not hating the ex just because he’s the ex. There were reasons you liked this guy enough to be with him and chances are these are the same reasons you could still be friends.

There are a few things you need to do. Talk to your family, tell them what happened. Don’t dump on your ex to your family. They liked him as a person and it is not emotionally supportive of them to join you in a hate the ex session. Be prepared for them to not feel about your ex the way you do. If he was a genuinely nice guy and they liked him, their feelings for him may not have changed and you need to respect this.

July 27, 2004

What to do when your family love your ex and hoped he’d become a son in law?

What to do when your family love your ex and hoped he’d become a son in law? (con’t)
If you find yourself making statements that are vague, they will drill you. Give them the bare facts to begin with. Tell them if it was a mutual decision or who ended the relationship. If he hurt you, tell them that but try not to go into elaborate or complicated explanations. They need to know how you are feeling emotionally and understand that their support and loyalty would be welcome. If the relationship ended without too much pain, it will be easier for your family to maintain a friendship with your ex if they want to. Giving them this choice is a good way for you to make sure you’ve resolved any issues between you and your ex.

What if someone in your family wants to keep in touch with your ex ? It happens, I’ve been there, done that. In my 20’s my brother’s long term girlfriend was part of our family and was one of my gal pals and we became even closer after they broke up. It made it easier because they didn’t break up hating each other.

You can’t stay in a relationship because your family like the guy but there’s a lot to be said for ending a relationship graciously and with as little hurt as possible.

By Michelle Lewis

Michelle has been one of Australia’s leading matchmakers and as a relationship expert is the founder of Date Doctors.


Her first book is The Street Guide for Flirting. We all notice that guy or girl who effortlessly breezes into a room and immediately attracts the attention of every individual there. And they’re not necessarily the best looking, wealthiest or smartest in the crowd. So what’s the secret? This guide shows you how to be the most fabulous flirt.

RRP $19.95 but only $17.96 if you buy from the SheSaid Bookshop.

July 27, 2004

Make life easier on each other

When asked what their “Marriage Motto” would be, many couples responded along the lines of:* “Never let the sun set on an argument”
* “Always love each other”
* “Be best friends”and so on and so forth. As wonderful as those seem, they seem to me to be very idealistic and somewhat na?ve.

I have one I’d like to table.

“Make life easy for each other”.

You know, “that lovin’ feeling” ebbs and flows during a relationship or marriage.

We all experience highs and lows, where sometimes we feel desperately in love with our partner and can’t bear for him/her to even leave to go to work for the day. Other times, we barely notice them walking in the door at the end of the day. It’s natural, we can’t always expect to be in a constant state of high romance and affection. But one of the constants we can depend on is the art of making life easy for each other.

You don’t have to be in the middle of a melting embrace to know that there are things you can do to help your partner’s day run more smoothly. Or in fact, his/her life to run more smoothly.

Imagine the peace you feel when you know that you can depend on your partner to unconditionally support you when you make a mistake. In return, you feel more than happy to make sure you deserve that support so it pays dividends to both of you.

Making life easy for each other isn’t just about doing odd jobs around the house, or sharing the housework, or doing the gardening together. It’s about making the effort to understand each other, standing united against common challenges, letting go of arguments that really, in the grand scheme of things, don’t matter. It’s to do with compromise and fairness. It’s so simple, really. Think in terms of “do unto others as you would have them do unto you”.

By making life easy for your partner, how can he/she not do the same for you, thereby creating a harmonious, comfortable existence. And don’t we all want an easy life?

By Gina Luca

* Gina is a freelance writer whose passion for talking to people on the Internet provides much inspiration for her writing.

April 6, 2004

10 Things Men Fear About Marriage

A lot of men think long-term commitment can cease any definition of FUN, well read on and find out the 10 Reasons why he is acting a bit weird about marriage.

  1. The Life Sentence no more freedom.
  2. Giving up that dream of numerous women, numerous flirtatious evenings and numerous drunken flings.
  3. The ‘what if’ I meet someone else battle.
  4. Divorce the bitter battle until the end.
  5. Replicating his parents failed marriage or too happy marriage.
  6. A life of stable, organised boredom. Watching TV, cooking and vacuuming on a Saturday morning.
  7. Compromising.
  8. Giving up wild nights with the boys.
  9. The Cost and Time the wedding will take.
  10. Having to grow up and be an adult, save, take a mortgage.
March 1, 2000