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Importance of Marriage Counselling in Malaysia

Updated: Dec 8, 2022

In the year 2021 in Malaysia, 43934 couples ended their marriage. The ending of a marriage or a relationship is not an easy matter for most people. The heartbreak and emotional pain that comes from the breakup is extremely painful. In their desperation to keep the marriage or relationship going, some people might act in a way that could harm themselves and others. The saddest part of the story is that majority of these breakups can be avoided if the couple had sought to engage in couple therapy when problems brew.

The top five reasons for divorce

According to studies, the most common reason for divorces, in no particular order, are Infidelity, lack of intimacy, communication breakdown, financial difficulties and addiction. The least common reasons are a lack of shared interests and incompatibility between partners. This data is interesting because people often believe that couples need to be compatible or have shared interests to have a good marriage, but this is not the case. Instead, the data shows that conflict, constant arguing, distrust and a lack of commitment

are the factors that inevitably lead to an irretrievable breakdown in the relationship, leading to infidelity and little physical intimacy.

The six warning signs that your marriage is heading for divorce

Problems in relationships do not happen overnight but gradually. Everyone wants a happy family and a supportive, loving partner. So why then do people who once love each other end up hating each other? Did they not try hard enough? Are they not willing to compromise? And how do you know when is the time for you to seek professional intervention?

Most couples will quarrel and then make up. And this type of rebalancing of powers between two people trying to merge their lives is common. People do not always agree with everything their partner believes in, but in a strong marriage, these couples will agree to disagree and focus on aspects of their lives where they can support and help each other succeed. For a while, everything might work out well for this couple, but unexpressed emotions can take their toll on the partner who feels that they are compromising more than their partner to make the relationship work. And they may decide to stop compromising, and if so, trouble might start. And when it does, the couple will think they can fix the problem themselves, but unfortunately, statistics show otherwise. The reality is that most couples cannot fix their marriage without professional intervention, and even if they were to remain married because they cannot get a divorce for whatever reasons, the quality of their relationship is often poor, causing many to develop depression or anxiety.

The warning signs can appear anytime during the marriage or relationship. And when it does appear, the couple must heed and seek marriage counselling to prevent the marriage from ending in a divorce. These warning signs are: 1. Emotional Distancing. From a psychological perspective, emotional distancing is one of the first signs of divorce. As couples drift apart, they will often stop confiding in each other and no longer share their innermost thoughts and feelings with their partner. Instead, they will bottle up their feelings and then start to feel resentful, bitter and angry. Some couples will be aware at this point that there is a problem with their relationship, and some may try to reconnect by going on dates or taking vacations together, but these efforts are often futile. This type of effort cannot resolve emotional distancing because it does not address the underlying issues that lead to the disconnect. And without marriage counselling, these relationships may be unable to unpack those feelings they have bottled up over the years in a constructive way.

2. You are more like my roommate than my spouse. If you are starting to live together more like roommates than spouses, this is a red flag that your marriage is in trouble. At this stage, the only communication that you share is those that relate to some practical matters. You no longer share intimate moments and may even start sleeping in different rooms. Some people are better as friends than they are as spouses. But if left unaddressed, the lack of intimacy and communication can lead to a feeling of disconnect and resentment, eventually leading to divorce. Therefore, if you find yourself in this situation, you must immediately take action to improve communication and rekindle the spark. Can you do this without professional intervention? For the majority of couples, the answer is no.

3. Lack of intimacy. Intimacy is an important part of any relationship, and marriage is no exception. Physical intimacy helps to strengthen the emotional bond between husband and wife and can be a source of pleasure and comfort. There are many reasons why couples become less intimate over time. Some of these reasons include a busy schedule, stress and disagreements. If you are not feeling as close to your spouse or partner as you used to, it is important to talk about it. In most cases, this problem can be resolved with effort and communication.

4. Always busy. If your spouse is always busy, it may signify they want a divorce. Of course, there can be other reasons for them to be very busy. Still, if you notice that your partner is suddenly much busier than usual and they are avoiding you, it may be a sign that they are unhappy in the marriage and are looking for an escape. If you are concerned about your partner being suddenly so busy, talk to them about it. If they can share their feeling with you and explain why they are busy, this is not a sign of trouble in the relationship. But if they are unwilling or unable to talk to you about why they are busy, it may be a sign that they are considering divorce. This is a major red flag. You need to consult a professional couple therapist or marriage counselling in Malaysia.

5. Infidelity. Few experiences in life are worse than discovering that your partner has cheated on you. If you suspect your partner is being unfaithful, there are a few signs that you can pay attention to. Are your spouse suddenly paying more attention to their appearance, or has they started to dress differently? It could mean that they are trying to impress someone. Are they starting to eat healthier and exercise more? This could mean that they are trying to appear more attractive to someone. Are they starting to work longer hours or to travel more for work? This could provide them with the opportunity to meet someone new. People do not decide to betray their partners on impulse. Usually, infidelity is caused by a long-standing issue in the relationship that has failed to be noticed or addressed. 6. You are irritating. All couples will have their share of disagreements and misunderstandings over behaviours that irritate them. Sometimes, even simple things like leaving the dishes in the sink unwashed can set off a heated argument. It is quite normal for couples to argue from time to time over irritating behaviours, but it is something else when the irritation becomes personal. If your partner cannot stand in your presence or is irritated without cause, this could indicate that your marriage is almost over.

How can Marriage Counselling in Malaysia help?

I think the most important aspect of marriage, relationship or couple counselling is that your therapist can help you express your feelings, discuss issues with your partner and help resolve conflicts. Couples, especially those with children, will often choose to avoid confrontation and avoid arguments to avoid addressing their bottled-up emotions. They do not want to "spoil the mood", and many will suck it up. I want to remind these couples that couple therapy or marriage counselling is a far cheaper alternative to divorce. In terms of investment, it is an investment towards a better quality of life and happiness for the family.

Couple therapists can help couples unpack, discuss and resolve the issues they have swept under the carpet and, in this way, increase understanding, respect, affection and intimacy between the couple, which can help both be happier together. Couple therapy can help the couple tackle the full range of relationship issues, from minor disagreements to major problems in communication. It is never too late to seek help from a qualified marriage counselling in Malaysia. And even if you think your relationship is too broken for repair, you'd be surprised how much therapy can help. So before you think about breaking up or choosing a new partner, talk first to a therapist.

You can call 360 Wellness Hub to make an appointment.


About the Author


Dr. Lennie Soo

Founder and Clinical Director of 360 Wellness Hub.

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