It is said that a wedding is an event but a marriage is an achievement. There are a great number of factors governing the marital relationship. Not all of them are sweetly romantic. Some aspects may be harsh but nevertheless realistic. Today, a marriage cannot be settled by matching horoscopes as per the Indian tradition. It has to be considered from various points of view such as education, culture, compatibility, the economics etc. Tragically, despite the best efforts of parents, relatives, and well wishers to match a couple as best as possible, many marriages fail many more marriages than we would like to believe.
Failure in marriage does not necessarily mean only the extreme step of divorce. Often, failure is a long-drawn, painful process or one, from which there seems no way out. Conflicting demands of home and work, children, sexual incompatibility, alcoholism, extra marital affairs, lack of interpersonal relations, lack of proper communication, lack of trust, lack of understanding, and problems of superiority or inferiority complex are just a few of the various factors that affect a marriage.
Marital failure results in different consequences for different persons. Apart from personal unhappiness, trauma for children, the persons involved are unable to achieve their full potential in terms of education, career, sports and cultural activities. Too much time and effort goes into coping with incompatibility or a breaking relationship.
Marital therapy attempts to revive marriages that are unhappy and on the brink of a break-up. While it does not offer magical solutions, it helps the couples to put their problems in better perspective, and opens up certain guidelines that help them to cope with the problem on hand. Many a time, one is benefited by an objective and clinical assessment by a third person (a marriage counsellor), rather than by a parent, relative or friend. Marital therapy is to help couples find solutions to cope with the challenges and threats posed by todays complex lifestyles, besides those posed by the marital relationship. It helps to find mutually acceptable solutions for a happy living.
Divorcees could be helped to find solutions for their problems of hangover with respect to the painful experience of the past and eliminate anxieties about a fresh marriage. Every troubled couple should remember that peace comes not from the absence of conflict in life, but from the ability to cope with it. People do not hesitate to seek treatment for a cold, cough or fever. So why not seek help for a bad marriage, which is several times more important?
Pre-marital counselling tackles concerns relating to the impending marriage, clears up misconceptions about sex, talks about issues like interpersonal relationships and family planning and in short, prepares a person for marriage. Parents may, at times, be unaware of certain conflicts and concerns that their children have with regard to marriage. The generation gap is responsible for this. This is where pre-marital counselling intervenes and bridges the gap. It has been established that those youngsters who have been exposed to pre-marital counselling have better chances of coping successfully with their marriage, than those who have not.
The basic idea of human sexuality is to express love and caring to another human being. If one has a problem in expressing this, one need not feel shy of seeking help in overcoming the problem. No other creature in the world feels shy of its own sexuality. So why should we?