By: Sadia Tariq
"Marriages are decided in heaven, solemnized on earth and humiliated before Courts."
I have just rephrased this old famous saying contemporary to the present era, where, in fact the marriages are humiliated before Courts. In order to avoid such an immaculate insult in open court by stating fictitious and aggravated comments on each other, the couples must first consult a Marriage Counselor.
In old days, prior to introducing marriage counseling services as a profession, these services were arranged in-house by elders and close family members, with whom the couples used to share their marital problems. But the said trend faced a lot of condemnation such as gossiping along with exaggerated remarks and comments by the mediator. In addition, it also contained chances of being biased on part of in-house mediator. Therefore, the issues between spouses were ultimately led to the dissolution of marriage as such neither party wanted to feel insulted or degraded. Furthermore, there were less chances of parties’ amicable compromise rather leading to end of marriages. The couples who were tired of sharing their problems with almost every elder of the family were by that time mentally prepared about taking divorce. As a result, the parties to dispute eventually contacted the lawyer with their respective pre-determined minds about dissolution of marriage and they were not even ready to listen to reconciliation advices of a lawyer since they were merely interested in opting for his services for dissolution of the marriage as early as possible.
Moreover, the present culture also demands that every person pretends as if everything is going normal for the sake of maintaining family honor and respect -- more influential the family is, more stressed their family members are. In this scenario, particularly the spouses’ relationship suffers a lot. The Psychotherapist only provides the aggrieved party temporary relief, without having any knowledge about available legal rights and remedies along with different techniques of marriage counseling which could permanently resolve the problems.
Considering the above-mentioned demerits of old in-house marriage counseling and present culture of consultation with Psychotherapist, now is the time to consult a professional Marriage Counselor. This professional service may sound unfamiliar in our society but most effective in the present age and circumstances. Nowadays, rate of divorces has become significantly high and its disastrous effects on a person’s family life lead to ruin the entire family. Therefore, initially, an aggrieved person should approach a Marriage Counselor, as this person is naturally emotionally vulnerable and aggressive and at this initial stage it can lead to further deterioration of the issue.
The service of a Marriage Counselor is to listen and apprehend root causes of disputes and spoiled relations. The person who decides to consult a Marriage Counselor should first, without any hesitation, fully disclose his feelings with the Marriage Counselor. Having done this, there is a fair chance that the person realizes that he is unconsciously hurting his spouse's feelings. Maintaining confidentiality and avoiding favoritism is the key responsibility of the Marriage Counselor. Moreover, his knowledge of legal rights and remedies along with modern techniques of marriage counseling would further enhance this consultation service. It is pertinent to clarify here that the awareness of and the execution of legal rights are distinct from one another.
Moreover, in present days, women’s rights activism has become a fashion trend. Every woman should realize that in Islam if the women are graded one degree less than men, it is for their own advantage, so that they could remain in a protected environment without having any financial burden or responsibilities. However, our religion doesn’t restrict a woman to work or utilize her knowledge and experience, as long as it is practiced within the limits prescribed by Almighty Allah and for the purpose of spending her time in a constructive way, along with caring for her husband and children. Generally it is observed in the society that being extremely materialistic or career oriented and neglecting your family's well-being in the process can ultimately have a deteriorating impact on your life.
Effective marriage counseling requires the sincere participation of both partners. The Marriage Counselor should arrange separate sessions for each partner - the first session should ideally be with the spouse who first approached him followed by a separate session with his partner. This should be followed by a joint session to give them a brief outline identifying their problems and the effective measures that can be taken to rebuild their relationship. Cooperation from both the partners is an essential part of this activity. The length of the counseling and the duration of each session depends upon the couple’s sensibility, their willingness to accept and hear out each others opinion, and the severity of their problems. After completion of these sessions in a positive manner, the couple will surely realize that one small issue had unreasonably been escalated into a dispute which might have resulted into the dissolution of their marriage. It is pertinent to mention here that it is rare for the partners to reach a decision level without the help and assistance of a Marriage Counselor. This is because the Marriage Counselor has different techniques and a handful of experience in resolving issues and also provides them face savings. In the end most partners wish that had they contacted the Marriage Counselor earlier their disputes would have been addressed earlier too.
Every spouse must keep in mind that love and self-respect are prime factors for survival of any relationship. If love and respect are given to each other, the ultimately recipient is the giver himself. On the other hand, forgiveness also plays pivotal role in development of a healthy and loving relationship between the spouses. Couples must do their respective part to rebuild the damaged areas of their relationship. Realization of your mistakes and putting your ego behind are the keys to a successful marriage and eventually to your well-being.
In the end, it is well said by Andre Agassi:
“There are many ways of getting strong, sometimes talking is the best way.”
Advocate Sadia Tariq may be contacted at: