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Couple and Marital Therapy

MARRIAGE PREPRATION:

Irrespective of the different traditions and cultural connotations given to marriage, it remains a fundamentally complex institution. Before entering into a marriage many couple ponder and struggle with the unknown, often wondering ‘should I get marry or not?’. There is no straightforward answer to this question because only the couple themselves will be able to make that call for themselves.


Potential issues in the lead up to marriage:

Misaligned expectations: Issues around the wedding and living arrangement, roles and responsibilities after marriage, managing in-laws.

Unmet personal goals: Feeling restricted in chasing own personal goals such as new job opportunities/meeting your own friends/taking time for yourself.

Managing competing demands: Planning for a wedding/marriage while experience high levels of work/ family stress

Managing one another’s family expectations: Regarding parenthood and social norms especially for those planning to marry outside their ethnicity or even country.

The aforementioned matters can be easily managed with a little bit of self-awareness and understanding regarding one another’s expectations before marriage. Marriage preparation sessions with a trained therapist will help sort out some of the differing views and grey areas, that will help to build a firm foundation for couples as they embark on their new life together.


COUPLE THERAPY:

Marriages is the oldest institution - common to all societies, cultures and the world! However, marriage is a very complex journey that spans over many different phases of ones life (e.g. children, parenting, job, health issues or even relocation to a new country).


Challenges that couples face:

Intermittent conflict: Over things such as household chores, finances, managing in-laws, when to have children.

Intimacy matters: Feeling emotionally disconnected from your partner, sexual intimacy issues after menopause/andropause.

Unmet personal goals: Feeling restricted in chasing own personal goals such as new job opportunities/meeting your own friends/taking time for yourself.

Impact of parenthood on marriage: Feeling burdened by children, conflict arising from differing parental styles and goals.

Violence: Emotional or physical abuse by either a husband or wife.

If you are feeling overwhelmed or tired by the demands of marriage, it may be time to give a boost to enhance and strengthen your marriage. Our trained marital and couple therapists can help you communicate your vulnerabilities and expectations in a safe space, and in doing so, inject new dimensions and strength into your marriage.


COUPLES IN TENSION: DIVORCING & DIVORCED COUPLES

Divorces are becoming common as more couples are finding it hard to remain in a marital union. Tensions in marriages can stem from a fixed source (e.g. infidelity) or a more diffuse and complex source (feeling overlooked as a stay at home mother). It must be noted that while some couples experience marital tension immediately after marriage, others remain happily married for a good number of years drifting apart gradually as partners begin to feel unappreciated, financially burdened and disrespected.

Marriage on the Rocks:

Infidelity: One or both partners are having an extra-marital affair

Estranged relationship: Usually brought on by excessive arguing and emotional violence.

Disagreements about parenting: Having differing goals and styles of parenting, may result in children “using” one parent to manipulate the other.

Pressure from in-laws: Undue pressure to care for them/produce grandchildren, financially contribute to them.

Blame Game: Couple blame each other about financial issues, children’s issues,

Addiction: Drinking, gambling, smoking or sexual addictions.

Domestic abuse: Physical, emotional, verbal and/or sexual violence

Financial and Power Imbalance: Where one partner feels like they need to be subservient to the “stronger” partner.


At AppleTree Counselling we adopt a holistic approach when working with divorce or divorcing couples. Besides focussing on the couple’s challenges, great consideration is given to the mental and emotional well-being of the voiceless children who are often most impacted by their parent’s on-going conflict or divorce. We prioritise helping divorcing parents find a solution that will deliver the best outcome for the children. Depending on the families need, we facilitate mediation or individual counselling alongside couples therapy. Please note that couples can seek marital therapy even if they are exploring the possibility of reconciliation or simply because they want to work on improving their relationship after a divorce, for the sake of their children. A stronger union between parents will mean a better physical, emotional and mental health for themselves, as well as their children and the wider families.


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