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We saw a couples councillor and I felt so much shame!

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Just over a year ago, my boyfriend Griffo and I went to see a couples counsellor.We’d been together for just under three years and we had hit a bit of a speed hump in our relationship. He works away so our time together is precious but somehow we’d created tension and both of us couldn’t work out where it had come from, but it was causing some explosive fights.

I was embarrassed to tell people we’d decided to see a counsellor at first. I was ashamed and worried about what people would think and say. To so many people, we had this picture perfect relationship. I know no relationship is perfect but I felt like we were letting people down.

I just couldn’t work out what was happening with us. It turns out we’d just forgotten how to communicate.

I knew from the first day that I kissed this guy that I wanted to marry him but at that point in time, I was questioning everything we’d worked so hard for. We’d begun to fight over bullsh*t little things and the tension was constantly surrounding us.

I still remember our last fight before we went to counselling, the venom that both of us had towards one another was next level. After we yelled and screamed in the kitchen for half an hour about no big issue at all, I left. I walked out of the house and spent the next couple of hours ranting and crying to my best friend.

He eventually sent an “I’m sorry” text message and I went home.

We sat on the couch and communicated like adults. We both still had this hostility about what had just happened, obviously, but we both wanted to sort it out. This can sometimes take a few hours when you have two very strong, stubborn and independent people, but we got there in the end.

What we realised was that we wanted to be together and continue building our future, but we just didn’t know how to get back to where we were. We weren’t completely broken but our relationship needed some work and some outside help. So, it was in this moment that we both decided to see a counsellor, together.

Griffo has always been open to outside help and I love that about him. Unfortunately, I have friends that have had relationship breakdowns in the past and their partners were too ashamed to get outside help. The stigma that seeing a “couples counsellor” has around it was too much for them and, sadly, their relationships have ended.

I firmly believe if they’d swallowed their pride, they could still be together.

 

I was nervous as hell walking into that room and I know Griffo was too. His palms were sweating and my mouth was dry. This was us being completely vulnerable to a complete stranger – no wonder we were both sh*tting ourselves! We were putting our relationship out there, and if I’m being brutally honest, my biggest fear was that the counsellor would tell us that we should break up.

We had friends suggest to us that if we were seeing a counsellor this early in our relationship, we were doomed. Well, they can now go eat humble pie because our relationship couldn’t be better!

YES, we have our ups and downs, but the two sessions we had with our counsellor were hugely beneficial to not just our relationship, but also our future. She helped us see the issues with no judgement and pure honesty.

when to get couples counselling

She gave us perspective and insight on the issue we were struggling with (him working away), why sometimes we could only communicate through explosive fights, and she made us remember what we loved about each other. Not that we had forgotten, but we were just finding it hard to see our good qualities through the fog.

She offered us some helpful tools to improve how we could communicate with one another, because that’s what we’d forgotten to do. Can you believe after three years of living with one another, we had forgotten how to communicate? I work in communications and do this daily in my job but, because of the tension, both of us were creating stories in our own heads and neither of us wanted to be honest about these thoughts because we didn’t want to end up in a fight.

I can laugh about it now because we are going great. We still hit speed bumps, but we speak about them now. The tension is well and truly gone and we can communicate with one another. We aren’t perfect but we will never be, and that’s ok!

 

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