I met my husband when I was 24 and we married 2 years later. For many years we had such a wonderful relationship. As with any relationship, there were always things that niggled at me. However, about 4 years ago things started to get worse and my happiness, and marriage as a whole, began to suffer. I had reached a point where I was starting to think that our marriage wouldn’t last because of the constant and reoccurring issues that were arising. Thankfully, I was able to seek support from Marriage Care in time to save our marriage.
I had previously accessed relationship support, from another charity. However, their administration process very transactional and their admin team were very rude and unsupportive. It took a very long time to get an initial session and after this the counsellor had taken our fee for the next session but no-one ever contacted us to book another.
So, after some time passed, I researched again and found Marriage Care. Although there was a waiting list, the team at Marriage Care were very supportive and kept us in the loop of where things were… we received communication from people who really seemed to care.
Eventually, we started our sessions with our wonderful counsellor – Pat. I was concerned about how my husband would react to the counselling, due to his concern that it would be bias in my favour. I was scared about anything that may come to light, that we could not put back in the box. However, Pat made us feel like we were both being heard. He empowered and facilitated us to talk to each other. He acted as more of a mediator and my husband and I spoke to each-other, rather than to him. Using and explaining transactional analysis Pat highlighted the research that has been done around the behaviours we elicited. It showed us that we were not the only ones in our situation.
After 6 sessions, Pat had saved our marriage. We both understand each other much better and I am able to see the difference between him being upset, angry or tired. The biggest thing I learned was how to understand that what I felt was criticism was just my husband trying to help because he loves me. We are grateful for the tools Pat gave us; especially teaching us to stop, listen and consider each-others point of view.
Since undergoing relationship counselling, the feeling of “being in the wrong marriage” and the lack of happiness has disappeared. I have far more respect for my husband than I ever did and I know I am much kinder to him. Without Marriage Care I would certainly have been considering a divorce.
In rebuilding our relationship, Marriage Care has helped us to build a stronger relationship with our children. The children now see positivity at home and have started to come and talk to us – as a couple – about their problems. Something they never felt comfortable to do before. There is one thing that really highlights how Marriage Care has positively supported my family as a whole… Our children now want to come home for Christmas. For that, we will be forever grateful.
As I was grateful to be reminded, all marriages have their problems. Nobody at Marriage Care will judge you, you do not need to fear them and they are all caring human beings with extremely high values. My journey showed how much the staff, volunteers and organisation as a whole really do care about you. They all want to support and they give up their time to make your relationship better.
Just remember, nobody will hear your story – unless you choose to tell it like I am today. So don’t hesitate, don’t fear and get the support you need, today.
*Helen wished her identity to remain anonymous