Marital Discord

marital-discord.jpg Marriage, as a pivotal social institution, has not only endured the test of time but also flourished through millienia despite its many limitations. Though the citadel seems to be crumbling a little under the weight of newer arrangements like live-in, single parenthood, gay and lesbian marriages and many other variants, it is undoubtedly the most successful such institution ever devised.

Workplace demands, rising aspirations, women's lib movement and a shift towards gender equality have certainly postponed the average age of marriage for both sexes. It's quite common to find people getting married in early and late 30s, partly because of lengthy education, settling down and other factors. But undeniably, marriage remains top of the charts as a personal goal for most marriageable young adults.

Experts opine that the relative stability of the Indian society and families particularly owes itself to the robust institution of marriage and the immense importance given to it. But of late, the institution seems to have started cracking under the weight of rapidly changing socio-economic scenario. The rising divorce rate is a case in point. Earlier, most divorces were sought on the premise of "irretrievable breakdown of marriage" (hopeless marriage) but today the reasons are far too trivial.

The importance of a happy marital life cannot be overemphasized, especially in a society like ours, which still places great stake on the family system. We are a society in a cultural flux; we aspire to be modern yet would love to remain tied to our traditions. This constant dilemma is the starting point for many a marital conflict. Marital conflicts, if not addressed properly in time, can escalate into major marital troubles and family unrest. They have wide-ranging adverse effects on not only the couple but also the entire family, including children. One of the commonest reasons for a dysfunctional personality is a troubled childhood, attributable to dysfunctional marriages and families.

SOME MAJOR TRIGGERS

EXTRA-MARITAL RELATIONSHIPS
IN LAWS VS. OUTLAWS
MONEY MATTERS
SEX ISSUES
LACK OF COMPATABILITY
ALCOHOLISM AND SUBSTANCE ABUSE
LACK OF TRUST

All these problems require empathy, patience and time to come out. Detailed questionnaires, individual and joint interviews, personality tests and other evaluations are conducted to indentify the addressable areas of potential conflict. These assessments are imperative to delve deeper into the couple's relationship dynamics.

Our therapies, including counseling, are directed towards getting to the root of the problem. The problem areas are addressed applying the most suitable interventions to bring the couple back to a normal, healthy marital relationship.

These are some issues around which most marital conflicts revolve:

- Religion - Lifestyle - Sex - Money
- Children - Career - Life goals - Recreation

A detailed assessment empowers us to pinpoint, with confidence, the root-cause of the problem and evolve a customized counseling and therapeutic roadmap. Prioritizing these issues helps a partner know their relative importance for the other one. It also helps one acknowledge one's weaknesses and helps the other become more accepting and supportive.

By exploring these issues threadbare, the couple gets a better understanding of each other's behaviour and also where the other stands. For instance, an appreciation for the spouse's religion and lifestyle makes the going easier in a marriage.

Broadly, marital counselling aims at addresses the following problem areas:

Psychometric assessments are used besides regular counselling to gain an impartial understanding of the partners' personalities. These assessments reveal several significant facts and experiences (not accessible otherwise), which could be responsible for the present situation.

A comprehensive understanding of their personality-fit, mutual compatibility, marital challenges and handling such situations. Certain personality traits can be suitably modified with efforts while there are others which are not amenable to any intervention. Knowing them could empower a couple to understand accept what cannot be changed and motivate them to change what can be.

It helps to have a grounded idea of what to expect and what not to expect from a marital relationship. Frequently, marital conflicts result from bloated expectations. Our counseling brings about a realistic appraisal of marriage with its potential of added fulfillment and responsibilities.

Significant life-changes (Job change or Job loss, Arrival of a child, Death of a loved one) are potential causes of stress and different people react to them differently. Several couples resort to unproductive coping strategies to deal with or even shy away from handling the crisis. The couple is empowered to deal with the changes in their environment and lifestyle, which can enable constructive coping mechanisms, better understanding and a more robust bond.