How marriage counselling will make your relationships better

There’s some stigma in this country about ‘getting help,’ seeing a counsellor, and mental health in general.  As a Sunshine Coast marriage celebrant with a background in psychology, I can’t rave enough about the benefits of having a sounding board and guiding light in all areas of your life – especially in your marriage and family life.  Here’s six great reasons that might motivate you to pick to make an appointment:

Show your partner your relationship is a priority

You’ll be able to work through past traumas and issues so they don’t follow you into the future

Sometimes we drag our past into the present and that’s not healthy. The past needs to stay in the past.  We don’t need past-us to sabotage present or future-us or our relationships.  So working through relationship trauma and issues is a positive step towards acknowledging and working through your past without lugging that baggage around with you.  Think about whenever you move house: it’s new beginnings, right?  Well imagine moving say, a ragged, heavy old sofa into every new home you move into.  Not cool.  Get rid of it.

Groom bend down to kiss sitting bride
Fairy-tales can come true when there’s trust and honesty

You’ll be acknowledging your relationship health takes priority

No relationship is perfect, and you’d be doing yourself and your partner a dis-service if you acted like it was.  We humans are a complicated bunch, that’s for sure.  One of the best ways to show you honour your relationship with all it’s little quirks, is to prioritise it, working together on making it the best that it can be.  If you’re not willing to do that, should you even be there? Counselling can help create peaceful families, which is something we all crave.

Smiling bride and groom walking along a wooden path with water on the left and bushland on the right
I love this photo – it’s like Elly is saying, “C’mon Matty, let’s get going!”

You know that sometimes it’s healthy to get objective opinions

It’s kind of hard to not take things personally, because we usually see through our own lens, so subjectivity is almost inevitable.  The beauty of a marriage counsellor is they don’t have a vested interest in the outcome (unless there’s DV going on), so they tend to be a great objective sounding board, thus opening your perspective to other alternatives. They also teach us better ways to disagree and to have more constructive debates.

You may kiss your bride: Groom holding bride's head and kissing her
Lock them in when you’ve found your forever

Your partner isn’t perfect – neither are you

Let’s face it, we’re all here to work through stuff and to do so, we have some powerful tools in our toolkit.  A marriage counsellor will show you how to use those tools: tolerance, gratitude, acknowledgement, respect, trust, forgiveness, understanding, fun, laughter, play … You’ve already got the tools, but sometimes we need guidance in their safe and appropriate use.

Two brides at the altar reading their vows, their children between the, guests watching
Work together for #relationshipgoals – just like Naomi and Emily

You’ll both be in a safe space to talk about any non-discussables

Does your relationship have a non-discussable?  Something that makes you squirm in your seat when you think about talking with your partner about it.  That’s what I call a non-discussable.  What better way to have that conversation than in a safe, inclusive environment with an objective and caring listener.  Your marriage counsellor will guide the conversation to help navigate the path for you. There’s an art to having difficult conversations, while I’m not a Counsellor, I do know and teach others the rules through my consultancy firm. Hit me up if you’d like me to send you some information free of charge, of course.

Bride and groom laughing aloud on white beach with still water Kawana Island with Lynette Maguire marriage celebrant
No secrets

Counselling is great for your sex life 😉

Think about how liberating it’ll be when you have total trust in your partner. You’re not carrying past baggage, you know that your relationship is a priority, you’re with someone who totally understands you and gets you, and you have no secrets!  You can truly lay yourself bare to each other.  If that isn’t a recipe for a great roll in the sheets, I don’t know what is. Let me know if you’d like some recommendations to some awesome counsellors.

Bride and groom laughing together when saying vows with Lynette Maguire marriage celebrant
Marriage counselling works

Have you seen a marriage counsellor?  What else can you add to the list?

A lovely love story: Jeremy and Rachael

A real life fairy-tale ending

Bride and groom kissing at The Chapel Montville
Sealed with a kiss

Their love story – as kids

Jeremy and Rachael met 21 years ago when Rachael moved to Landsborough for her first year of high school. They first saw each other at ‘The Hero Stand’. (This is where they would catch the bus to and from Caloundra High School and also the local meeting place/hang out).

Jeremy thought Rachael was too pretty for someone like him (who was up to no good most of the time).

Rachael loved sitting at the hero stand watching Jeremy walk across the grass with  his long dark hair sticking out from under his hat, she always thought he had gorgeous mysterious eyes and a cheeky Cheshire Cat grin.

The young people kept bumping into each other and eventually they started visiting each other and would spend hours sitting in their bedrooms (usually his), talking about deeper things than you would expect from most teenagers. Jeremy read to Rachael and they would share books like ‘The Celestine Prophecy ’.  Rachael felt she saw a side of Jeremy that was hidden to the outside world and was intrigued and impressed by both his intelligence and spirituality.

Pre ceremony fun - the groom and his groomsmen Charlie's Angels style
Jeremy and his guy gang get their Charlie’s Angels on

Rachael moved from Landsborough back to Caloundra and the young couple started to date, though it was a lot harder to see each other. Jeremy visited Rachael and when he didn’t, Rachael raced home every day after school to call his house phone in the hope of catching him.  He was a bit of an errant kid and usually hadn’t been seen in days, so Rach would just chat with his Mum. On weekends Rachael would catch the school bus back to Landsborough hoping to find him somewhere around town, or they would meet up at a party.

The breakup

Eventually Jeremy broke up with Rachael:  He thought she was too good for him and knew she deserved to be treated better.  He didn’t really want to break up with her, and it was hard on everyone.  Rachael’s heart broke and she felt like she wasn’t good enough. Jeremy knew she felt like this and it niggled his conscience from that moment.

Bride and groom kissing in front of The Chapel, Montville with guests
The Chapel, Montville is the perfect backdrop for an elegant hinterland ceremony

As a young adult, Rachael moved away to Brisbane but often drove back to the coast and always detoured through Landsborough, the Hero Stand, and past Jeremy’s family home to reminisce, and in the hope that she might catch sight of him.  She never did.  All she had were the memories of those eyes and that Cheshire smile.

Years later, Jeremy decided to find Rachael to apologise to her, and get closure.

Groom leaning down to kiss his bride who is sitting
Fairy-tales can come true

That awkward phone call

By this time Rachael was married with 2 children and when Jeremy called, Rachael was closed off and distant (her husband sat right beside her) and the conversation was unnatural.  Of course, Jeremy remembered a different girl and questioned if he’d even spoken to the same girl – and he still didn’t have closure.

Hey, do you remember me?

From time to time Jeremy searched for Rachael on social media to no avail. Years passed, and two more babies later, Rachael popped up on Facebook with her old last name (she had divorced).   Jeremy found her and messaged her with “Hey, do you remember me?”…  of course she did.  She’d never forgotten him.

The pair finally became the couple they were destined to be, and four years later, I married them in a stunning ceremony at one of my favourite Sunshine Coast wedding venues, The Chapel, Montville.   

Jeremy still thinks Rachael’s too good for him, but he says, “I lost her once, I won’t lose her again.”

Bride and groom sitting at their old hang out place complete with old fire hose and rusty pipes
A lovely love story – this is where they used to hang out as kids, the hero stand
Groom kissing bride against a brick wall in the afternoon sunlight
It’s pretty obvious they like each other

And they lived happily ever after!