There is Help in Marriage for Couples (Singapore)

Marriage Counselling

Willy HoMr Willy Ho is the Founder and Lead Counsellor at The Counselling Paradigm, Singapore.
They provide counselling and psychotherapy services for couples and individuals with different areas of presenting issues.

In this interview, we explore common issues faced by couples and how the marriage can be further strengthened during the counselling process.

Question: We understand that every couple faces challenges in their marriage. But what are the usual issues that bring couples to counselling?

There can be a variety of reasons which brings couple to counseling, and most issues tend to trace back to lack of constructive communications between the couple. In most cases, the situations have already turned into such a negative experience for the couple, that they usually do not know how to resolve their differences on their own. Thus, they will often turn to a professional counsellor to address the problems that they have encountered.

Question: So how can couples better equip themselves before or after marriage?

Before the marriage, the couple needs to understand to their best knowledge the degree of commitment they have to face in their big step forward as a couple. Both parties need to objectively understand the character and personalities of the person that they are marrying, and identify the possible challenges they might face as a married couple especially in the early years of their lives together. They also need to be consciously aware of the feelings, thoughts and actions that they both are giving to each other. Negative words and behaviour from one party usually brings about negative responses from the other. Likewise, positive words from one spouse can bring upon positive responses from the other.

In a marriage, each spouse will begin to surface more differences with the other party as they live together. As more differences arise, it may bring about potential conflicts and arguments. Lack of skills as a couple to manage the conflicts often escalates to further problems in the marriage. Couple can better learn to respect each other differences and harness each other strengths within the marriage.

Question: What are the changing dynamics of couple relationships in the modern society? And how this may have affected the marriage?

In the older generations, men are usually the one who works and the women will stay at home and look after the matters of the household. In our present society, fair treatment for both gender are emphasized. Sometimes, men may feel that they are not competent enough when compared with their spouse. Some may even feel belittled by their spouse. Coupled with a lack of self control, some men may turn to other people in their lives to feel a greater sense of self-worth, and stray from their marriage.

However, these are not the only reasons that some spouses stray from their marriage. A breakdown in marriage may be due to unique causes within the relationship and within the entire family system. The family systems may already be not working well, thus adding extra strains on an already fragile couple relationship. Thus, the counsellor will need to work closely with the couple to identify deep underlying issues that have contributed to the unhappiness of the marriage. The counsellor will also enable the couple to identify and realign their goals together in rebuilding their marriage.

In cases where marriage infidelity have taken place, deep hurts and mistrust are generated within the marriage. Each couple’s love story still has to be continued because humans are creatures of love. Thus, it is beneficial for couple within the counselling session to reflect on their previous experiences as a couple; how they met, how they fall in love..etc. This enables them to rekindle their love while they work together to rebuild their marriage.

In my experiences of counselling, a spouse often want to forgive the strayed party but does not has the strength or empathy to forgive due to unanswered questions like “Why are you doing this to me?”. The hurts are often surmountable . No matter how the betrayal party tries to give in and shows that he/she is remorseful for what has happened, the other spouse often find it hard to regain trust. Thus, the counsellor will also work with the couple to process the pain of betrayal, and identify ways to reconstructed the marriage. It is needed for key underlying issues to be identified and resolved, or these issues may resurface later and add further strains to the relationship.

About The Counselling Paradigm.
The Counselling Paradigm also provides individual, couple and family counselling, as well as conduct training and workshops for people to regain control of their lives.

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