Why relationship counselling doesn’t work

Why relationship counselling doesn’t work
Why relationship counselling doesn’t work

Consider the multitude of relationship experts who espouse the things both parties need to do in order to achieve relationship bliss. They write massive amounts of self-help Article on relationships. They all generally say that for a relationship to work and/or improve you need to do the following things:

•schedule quality time together;
•work on your communication with each other;
•spend time to really understand each other’s needs;
•give each other space; and
•have separate interests.

However, these suggestions are essentially for those relationships where the parties are inherently incompatible to begin with, and are designed to help them bridge their differences. But they do not fix the fundamental and natural incompatibilities to begin with — because nothing can. You also need to keep doing all those things listed above, for once you stop and go back to being your natural self, then the relationship will fall apart as it depended on you putting in that effort for it to work.

When things just flow

If you are compatible, then your minds will be in synch and there is no need to work on communication with each other. When you make a statement, your partner should automatically understand the meaning behind it; this is what true compatibility in communication is all about. It’s great when you naturally understand each other as you don’t have to continually explain and express yourself in a way that your partner can understand. When there are differences in your views on life and general thinking, then problems are certain to arise.

The truth is, if you are compatible then your relationship should require minimal effort or work, and the easier it is, the longer it will last. This is why relationship counselling doesn’t work. Studies have found astonishingly low success rates for relationship counseling: 11% to 18% of couples made meaningful gains that lasted more than a year, but more than 43% of couples seeking counseling separate or divorce within five years of counselling.

The reason for this failure is that while there is nothing wrong with the counseling itself, human nature gets in the way. Success in counselling all depends on the willingness of people to put the effort in. The counselors can point out what the problems are and advise each party what to do to bridge these differences. However, if this behavior doesn’t come naturally to the partners, then either they won’t be willing to or able to keep up the effort, leading to the failure of the relationship – and the counseling.

It is human nature that over the long term we need to be ourselves, we can’t keep being something that we are not, nor keep up behavior that isn’t natural to us. Some say that counseling fails as couples often leave it too late to try when they are already at the point of walking away. The argument goes that if they had counseling when problems first began, then there would be a far greater chance of success. By leaving it to the point when they’re ready to walk away, they have both seen how wide the gulf is between them and no longer care or are prepared to put in the enormous effort required to bridge their differences.

When problems first start appearing, the parties are more willing to put in the effort. The counseling would then provide a reminder to them of the things they were doing to make the relationship work until only recently, and encouragement to pick up this good behavior again. However, any relationship in which the partners are not naturally compatible will require a lot of effort, and often a lot of advice from counselors. However, ultimately these relationships are likely to fail over the long term, as it is human nature that we all revert back to our natural behavior and personality