Marriage counseling is not only the most complex but it’s also the most sought after relationship counseling as far as relationship problems are concerned.
It’s not because marriage is the most complex relationship. It’s so because it’s the most common, the most intimate and hence the most taken for granted relationship.
Almost everyone on the planet does get married. Those who don’t, invite raised eyebrows questioning them why they didn’t. It’s more a ritual than a quietly developing relationship in a spontaneous manner.
Also no other relationship affects the daily life of a person as much as marriage does.
What Happens in Marriage:
As a couple enters this relationship, both explore each other at every possible level. The relationship requires them to stay together under one roof for all 24 hours.
That makes it coming a bit too close to each other! It’s like becoming the part and parcel of each other’s life.
That’s as far as it comes to sharing the physical space.
Next comes the turn of sharing the mental space. The two minds start exploring each other once they have done their initial bit at the physical level.
As the two of them come from two different backgrounds, they certainly have two different mindsets. How well these two mindsets mingle with each other decides how smooth is going to be their relationship, at least in the beginning phase after their marriage.
After The Honeymoon Period Is Over:
Once the initial honeymoon period is over, the hard ground of reality sets in assessing each other in a more conditional manner.
Everyone in life has a preferential set of conditions to assess another person from his or her point of view. In their pre-marital interactions they might have kept showing their best profile to each other but now when they are together 24×7, both happen to see all the profiles that each one of them had meticulously kept hidden from the other.
At more times than none, it ends up in a slight disappointment to each one of them.
There may be certain habits of one that repel the other. In the beginning both try to adjust with each other along with their individual habit patterns. But this willful adjustment works only till both have a good opinion for each other as a human being.
But everyone has one’s negative points and sharp edges in one’s personality that make one less gentle a person than ideal. No one on earth is a thorough gentleman. The less gentle you are the less love and respect you command from the other in the long run.
Familiarity Breeds Contempt:
There is a famous adage saying too much familiarity breeds contempt.
Too much familiarity is automatically interwoven in the very structure of marriage. It is bound to breed contempt in the mind of the other if one of them is basically not sufficiently gentle and lovable as a human being.
Mind it I am not saying lovable as a partner, I am saying lovable as a human being!
And if both of them are much less gentle than a human should be, it is bound to turn this one-sided contempt into the most complex double-edged hatred for each other as the time passes by.
Contempt for each other is the most common factor that turns a marriage unhealthy. Also this one is the most complex problem to resolve through marriage counseling.
The next most common problematic factor that turns a marriage sore is not giving space to the other and trying to dominate your partner’s life and actions.
The partner will try to compromise up to a certain point but if the domination crosses a tolerable limit, the emotional volcano is bound to erupt.
And God forbid, if both partners are of a dominating nature, the home gets turned into a perennial battlefield!
Here the role of marriage counseling turns to changing one or both the partners from a dominating personality to a more democratic one.
Changing someone’s personality is one of the most complex tasks on earth.
Expectations in Marriage:
The third factor causing friction in marital relationships is the factor of expectation that each partner has from the other to fulfill.
Expectations are bound to go unfulfilled at one time or the other. The more it happens so the more does the relationship go sore.
Marriage counseling needs to turn each one of the partners aware of taking genuine care of the other, which again amounts to changing the basic personality of both the partners.
A better approach would be having a marital relationship in which neither of the partners keeps any expectation from the other, and whatever one does for the other could be taken as a welcome gift!
There is another, the fourth most common factor that turns marriage into a nightmare.
It’s an action on the part of one of the partners that breaks the most important code of conduct specified in the manual of marriage.
This code of conduct is named monogamy.
This one is neither a behavioral problem nor an emotional one; it’s rather a moral issue that threatens to ruin a marriage.
Why does a person break this code that’s the basic prerequisite of the institution of marriage?
In order to answer this question, we need to go deep into the psychobiological disposition of Homo sapiens as a species.
Monogamy Vs Polygamy:
Our genes are essentially not the genes of monogamy, nor are they essentially those of polygamy. We as a species are a mixture of the two.
It was the great psychoanalyst named Wilhelm Reich who first propounded the theory that the Homo sapiens are neither monogamist nor polygamist but it was a serial monogamist species.
At a certain given time, our libido is directed single minded toward one single partner. Then after a certain interval, the graph starts fading and dropping down. This is the time when one is the most prone to fall for a new partner outside one’s marriage.
Marriage – A Moralistic Social Institution:
Marriage being more a moral institute than social alone outright rejects any such action on the part of either of the partners.
Everyone doesn’t fall for this natural lure of one’s instinctive drives since majority of our population is strictly trained by moral values which must be upheld at any cost, even at the cost of following the most natural instinctive drives.
But there are some for who the moral values in their mindsets are not as strict as to ignore the call of their innate drives.
There is a secret that I unveiled through interviewing hundreds of people from both the sexes in their deepest moments of exploring themselves. One hundred percent of them admitted that although they were of the strict opinion against infidelity but deep inside they fancied it somehow.
Marriage counseling simply needs to explain all this to the partners having a discord because such an action took place on the part of a partner.
Divorce – The Last Resort:
But it’s really tough for the other partner to accept it at the emotional and the moral level even after one has understood it all in its total depth.
In such extreme cases at times marriage counseling does its best to suggest a divorce although it should be the last resort to go for.
Apart from these most common major issues, there are many other not so common and not so serious factors affecting the marital harmony in a negative way, which can generally be tackled through marriage counseling with all its relationship awareness tools at its disposal.
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