Something a little different on the blog today before the weekend! Everyone knows that marriage isn’t all sunshine and rainbows all of the time, we all have our difficulties now and again. If you haven’t heard of Relate North East before, or perhaps you have and think it’s a place to go when your relationship is about to come to an end. Think again! There is a huge stigma around seeking help when there are problems in the early stages of marriage – moving house, housework and children can all be leading factors in what leads to arguments just after the wedding. Relate are there for you to help strengthen relationships, build solid foundations and smooth out any problems, before they lead to bigger issues.
We spoke to Carol Walker from Relate North East to help us answer some FAQ’s and help with any misconceptions around what they do…
Why should you visit Relate at a wedding fair?
Relate see a lot of couples who come to us after their wedding wondering “is this it?”. They have focussed so much on the wedding preparations and the day itself that they have sometimes forgotten to think about what life will be like afterwards.
We all have ideas of what being married means but we often don’t talk about it with our partner – we just assume that we have the same ideas.
Relate know that a lot of things can cause flash points for couples – moving house, who deals with the money, how do you spend, who does the housework, how do we deal with children, are we going to have children, what about step families, what about parents….. the list can be endless. The “Before You Say I Do” workshop can help you think about these flash points in advance to help you get talking about these things and prepare you with some tools to avoid the flash points turning into problems.
What would you say to couples who are hesitant to come to Relate for help?
A lot of people think that coming to Relate is a sign that their relationship is at an end. Quite often they wait until things are at crisis point when it is more difficult to help them. We would much rather people came when the cracks are starting to show – those little niggles that keep cropping up can be dealt with much more effectively when they are niggles.
There is a big stigma about seeking help for those unseen problems – but seeking help is the bravest thing you can do – and may well turn out to be the best thing you ever did to strengthen your relationship.
Why is Relate so important when it comes to marriage?
Relate are passionate about helping people to get the relationship they want. We know that couples wants and needs change over time. Helping people in the early stages of their relationship to communicate in an effective way about what they want and need can give them a very solid foundation for their marriage ahead. The tools a couple would learn on a “Before You Say I Do” workshop can give a great grounding for the future. And if things aren’t going well in the future, the couple will know that coming to get help from Relate at any time is not as scary as they might have thought before.
What is the most common problem you help couples with?
People come to us with all sorts of problems on the surface – an affair, arguing about the housework, arguing about families getting involved, how to bring up children – but underneath we find that it’s often to do with the fact that they have different and unspoken expectations about how they each want their life to be. Quite simply they have a different picture in their heads compared to how their life is turning out.
We try to help couples to describe the picture in their head to their partner and see how different or similar they are and help them find a way to move forward in the same direction.
How can people get in touch?
To contact Relate North East, visit our website www.relatenortheast.org.uk or give us a call on 01325 461500. We can book you onto a workshop or if you are feeling the strain from organising your big day then we can offer a one-off session with a counsellor.
The sooner you get help if niggles start, the more likely we are to be able to help you get the relationship you want.