Marriage Counselling

So thank God for social media – the good the bad and the ugly…if you are having a bad day- sign on to instagram or twitter or even your favourite blog- something is bound to make you smile.  However on a daily basis I keep seeing marital woes abi it is chronicles. 

Most of these chronicles are from Nigerian couples – ranging from the “my wife is insultive” to “my husband sleep with the househelps”. While there are problems with marriage around the world, I am starting to take particular offense to the Nigerian scenario. Let me explain.

Most Nigerians believe the validity of their marriage lies in it being conducted in a religious establishment – church or mosque. To be married in a church or mosque in Nigeria, you must undego counselling. Please if you married in a church or mosque without being counselled- mention the name – some people may want to do the same.

Now what I want to ask is what they teach in counselling- I ask this because of the alarming rate at which we hear very sad and disturbing marital tales. Who is going to counselling and is it really helping people have better marriages?

I refused to get married in a church in Nigeria for 2 reasons – I wanted an Anglican ceremony to Honor my upbringing- my husband is catholic  (by the Catholic church we aren’t married 😅)…and i have no interest in marriage counselling (i like to believe personally that I know the difference between whats appropriate and what’s not – I have enough grey hair- now whether or not I choose to do it is a different ballgame)..

So thankfully I was on the same page with my fellow who didn’t see why counselling was necessary. ..we agree to talk through our emotions and be adults about our behaviour towards each other….and accepting responsibility for whatever actions we each choose to exhibit.

My question to those who have been to marriage counselling in Nigeria, did it do anything for you? No I am not having a change of heart, i am just curious. For the singles and aspiring to marry’s would you be willing to go or not go to marriage counselling?

Winners Wednesday is still HERE

NESTR
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23 Comments on Marriage Counselling

  1. I didn’t attend marriage counselling in Nigeria, but my husband did; and it appears to me that they “counselled” him very very well o. He’s willing to stay and sort out our issues, he never stays angry, he’s quick to apologize, in fact he does everything right. Now I cannot say the same for myself. Maybe it’s the counselling, or maybe I’m married to an exceptional man…

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  2. Yes I would be willing to go for marriage Counselling. That’d be depending amongst other relevant factors on the time duration, my perception of the church.

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  3. I didn’t do. I haven’t done. We counsel each other, through music, words, articles, movies, etc

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  4. I’m not married yet but I believe in pre-marital counseling. It doesn’t actually have to be through a church/religious. There are non-religious options but I think it’ll be useful to have a professional discuss ways of dealing with marriage before you take that big step.

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  5. I’d say to an extent the counseling does help. Too many young people are jumping into marriage without an idea of what the real picture is.

    Young girls are more worried about the dress and how many times they will change.

    Marriages fail because people have the wrong expectations from it or they absolutely have no idea what they are getting into.

    I’d say maturity is key, @ Miss Pynk, you have a very good head on your shoulder, coupled with the discipline instilled by your folks, very few people have this kind of upbringing.

    So many factors add to making a marriage work, a little counseling won’t hurt. What I find baffling is the duration of the counsel and the hypocrisy of the counselors/ church.

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  6. Yes to counselling. No to counselling at a naija church.

    Ehn can’t you go to catholic church for blessing to make it valid?

    My oga has warned that there shall be no wedding unless it’s in a Catholic church (for the same reason you mentioned). Guess we’ll be doing our counselling there. I’ll report back after I attend. Lol

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  7. I would like to attend marriage counselling classes when the time comes, it will be good to see things from other peoples perspective.

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  8. Well, I suppose if talking through your emotions and being adults about your behaviour towards each other is practiced, then that’s all you really need.
    However, I attended the marriage counseling sessions because I had questions, ambiguity about what is expected of me and what’s not acceptable in a marriage. I hardly grew up with my parents so I didn’t know what I was getting into really so it did me a lot of good and that’s speaking for myself.

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  9. If my church didnt make it a most I dnt think I will consider it

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  10. I am a frequent lurker and infrequent commenter. But i am also an avid mental health champion so felt the need to comment on this. Counselling is very important and shouldnt be taken for groundnut. Couselling gives couples a space to aire their differences in a non-intimidating space and there is a facilitator that helps you go through your emotions/feelings and the way what you say makes the other person feel. Now – i dont think that pastors are necesarrily marriage/family counsellors. There are psychologists/social workers who work in this space and who know how to manage conflicts and help people to heal through very difficult times. These are the professionals that you should see when you suspect that you have hit a roadblock in your marriage. One thing that has stuck with me – is that on wedding annivesaries it is healthy to go and see a marital consellor – talk about the year what was good, what was bad and what you can work on. A way to set goals for the upcoming year and a concrete plan on working together. Best piece of advice i ever had!

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    • Koko I am for counselling from counselors as opposed to religious leaders as I believe they are obligated to lean a certain way due to religious leanings. You have spoken well.

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  11. I went for pre-marital counselling in church with my husband before we wedded. Here are my 2 cents;

    1. It was a 12-day (weekends only) counselling class of about 20 couples, where we had instructors come in to teach us on about different topics for about 2 hours per day. I wished it was more of a couple per instructor setting, because to me, it sorta seemed more like a series of lectures than counselling. we also had factors like time to deal with, which really limited one from asking as many questions as we really wanted to.

    2. I felt that the instructors were being too spiritual about the topics. Now, don’t get me wrong, i’m all for #TeamSpiritual, but i just assumed that since it was pre-marital counselling, they would relate more with everyday issues that couples face in marriage. Anyways, 1 or 2 of them related with real life issues sha, and I think we all enjoyed those classes more than the others.

    3. Well, due to the large-setting of the class, the counselling meant different things to different people. Some people were there to crack jokes, some took it too seriously e.g our class rep (….yeah we had a class rep too!!!) who comes to class 1hr 30mins before the scheduled time, and then we had the people who just came for the attendance. They come in 20 mins to the end of the class just to mark their attendance card (Attendance was quite compulsory, and if you didn’t complete your classes, you’d have to join the next batch to complete it)

    In summary, i learnt some important things during the pre-marital counselling, but i think the best pre-marital counselling i’ve had to undergo, is watching my parents’ marriage. I learnt a lot from my parents, i learnt from their good times, not-so-pleasant times, and also their mistakes.
    So really, it isn’t all about the pre-marital counselling, because they can’t tell or teach you everything.

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    • Nkechi you sort of confirmed my suspicion about counselling – some people go to mark register, some of it is so faith based that you are unsure how it applies to the practicality of current day marriage etc.

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  12. Nkechi nice breakdown. The people I know have benefitted the most from counselling had more of a 1 on 1 session.

    Questionnaire at the beginning to see where attention is needed.

    Some classes

    Most importantly pairing with older couples (meeting in their homes) to discuss in details, sharing real life matters.

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