Marriage counseling has been available in the UK for many years, and in the right circumstances it can be of great help.
Sometimes the counseling will keep the marriage going; but it may also allow a marriage to come to an end in an logical and acceptable way when the relationship has clearly passed its use-by date.
The biggest organisation in the UK providing guidance for married couples and people in other committed relationships is Relate, which was formed in 1943 as the Marriage Guidance Council. It can be found at www.relate.org.uk.
Marriage counseling is also available from other sources, and particularly through churches. Christian marriage counseling comes in many styles and is not necessarily only intended for Christians. If you are not Christian, you dont really need to worry that Christian marriage counsellors use the sessions as an opportunity to preach to you – their faith is more likely to be apparent from their empathy and depth of insight.
It’s just a matter, as is the case with all counseling, of finding the right person for your needs. One way to do this is to ask an organisation like Relate; another is to research via the internet. There’s free online advice too about relationship issues if you search for it. After researching, you may decide that face-to-face or telephone consultations are best for you.
If issues and worries within your relationship have caused you any physical or psychological stress, it may be a good idea to visit your GP as well. They will be able to treat you for physical symptoms and may also be able to recommend a counsellor.
There are lots of theories on what makes couples compatible, some more romantic than others. The philosopher Schopenhauer said that it was all about animal instinct. The aim, he thought, is the procreation of suitable children rather than ‘love’, which is simply the decorative sheen our consciousness puts on the furtherance of the species.
There are certainly biological explanations for human physical attraction but true companionship and pure unselfish love must be part of the mix. On the other hand, while Schopenhauer may have been one of the world’s most important philosophical pessimists, he was not very lucky in love himself and may have suffered from his own perspective.
Even if it were true that the only thing that lights the initial flame between two people is lust – and few people would be prepared to look at their personal relationships in such a simplistic way – it is not something that can keep the home fires burning forever.
If you feel there must be something else maybe its time to talk to a counsellor.
Further information on counseling is available through the index on this page. If you need a counsellor they can be easily found through the Internet and telephone directories.