PAUL BECKOW: Marriage; a laboratory for personal growth and learning

Receiving counselling is a good way to work on issues

Re: Parents find way to unburden themselves (Greater Victoria Family, June 13)

It was not long into my work as a professional in private practice that I came to see one of the strongest beliefs many people had about counselling was that if anyone was in counselling there  must be something definitely wrong with them. Seeking counselling was evidence of a failure of some kind.

I suggest nothing is farther from the truth – that perhaps to search out the support for yourself and/or your partner when you meet a difficulty you cannot seem to move past, to inquire into a persistent problem and explore what the problem has to offer you is truly a very intelligent thing to do.

Truth is, when any couples marry, there are no guarantees.  We do not come into marriage experienced, trained and certified. Becoming an expert in the matter of  loving and relating is a training and  invites our commitment, intention, practice, and openness to learn.  Relationship is set up that way, a curriculum for our personal growth and development.

Currently the divorce rate in Canada exceeds 50 per cent. That is, 50 per cent of first marriages end in separation and divorce. Our track record therefore implies there is lots for us to learn about how to make ourselves happy and satisfied in relationship.

So if we are to remain in love and satisfied in marriage there will be lots of “breakdowns,” lots of confusions, confrontations, challenges and difficulties. And if something feels to us like it’s not working this gets our attention. You could say this is life getting our attention.  Life, relationship, suggesting to us we have something to learn.

New learning, then, invites stopping, examining  inquiring and exploring, often getting beyond ourselves, having the space to see ourselves, understand ourselves and others, explore the choices in front of us and explore what new skills and understandings the “problem” is asking of us.

People who live that way have the most power in relationship. Living from the commitment to be genuinely satisfied, to learn and grow, to not avoid, but address and learn from difficulties that appear.

It makes perfect sense therefore, when difficulties or problems  persist, to find someone who has training and insight in the field of relationship,  can support and enhance such a valuable  inquiry and do the work with them.

Paul Beckow M.Sc. is a certified clinical counsellor and can be reached at The Victoria Family Institute at 250-721-2477.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

West Shore RCMP is asking for the public’s help in locating Mackenzie Courchene, a Langford teenager.
MISSING: Mackenzie Courchene last seen in Langford on March 2

West Shore RCMP is asking for the public’s help in locating the Langford teenager

Rendering of the proposed Esquimalt public safety building. (Courtesy Township of Esquimalt)
Esquimalt blazes new trail toward modern public safety building

Township using alternative approval process for first time to gauge public support for proposal

Landmarks such as Howard the giant gnome at Galey's Farm in Saanich make a stunning backdrop for celebratory dance in the Greater Victoria Festival Society trailer for its coming Dance Victoria campaign. (Screeshot/Greater Victoria Festival Society)
Residents’ videos help campaign Dance Across Victoria

Celebratory dance clips to be compiled into Greater Victoria Festival Society video

Reynolds Secondary School’s spring musical Freaky Friday features Grace Fouracre as teen Ellie Blake (left) who swaps bodies with her overworked mother, Katherine, played by Nadia Lurie. (Photo courtesy Reynolds Secondary School)
Saanich high school goes virtual with Freaky Friday musical

Reynolds Secondary theatre program to livestream performances March 9-12

Saanich Fire Department. Black Press Media File Photo
Fire displaces three Saanich families from two homes

Saanich firefighters found the fire had spread to a neighbouring home upon arriving

Elvira D’Angelo, 92, waits to receive her COVID-19 vaccination shot at a clinic in Montreal, Sunday, March 7, 2021, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
‘It’s been a good week’: Tam hopeful on vaccines as pandemic anniversary nears

Tam says the addition of two new vaccines will help Canadians get immunized faster

Const. Allan Young. Photo: Abbotsford Police Department
Manslaughter charge laid in Nelson death of Abbotsford police officer

Allan Young died after an incident in downtown Nelson last summer

(The Canadian Press)
‘Worse than Sept. 11, SARS and financial crisis combined’: Tourism industry in crisis

Travel services saw the biggest drop in active businesses with 31 per cent fewer firms operating

The Port Alice pulp mill has been dormant since 2015. (North Island Gazette file photo)
Parts recycled, life returning to inlet as as old Port Alice mill decommissioned

Bankruptcy company oversees de-risking the site, water treatment and environmental monitoring

The Conservation Officers Service is warning aquarium users after invasive and potentially destructive mussels were found in moss balls from a pet store. (BC Conservation Officers Service/Facebook)
Aquarium users in B.C. warned after invasive mussels found at pet store

Conservation officers were told the mussels were found in a moss ball from a Terrace pet store.

Hockey hall-of-fame legend Wayne Gretzky, right, watches the casket of his father, Walter Gretzky, as it is carried from the church during a funeral service in Brantford, Ont., Saturday, March 6, 2021. HE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Walter Gretzky remembered as a man with a ‘heart of gold’ at funeral

The famous hockey father died Thursday at age 82 after battling Parkinson’s disease

Donald Alan Sweet was once an all star CFL kicker who played for the Montreal Alouettes and Montreal Concordes over a 13-year career. Photo courtesy of Mission RCMP.
Ex-B.C. teacher who was CFL kicker charged with assault, sexual crimes against former students

Donald Sweet taught in Mission School District for 10 years, investigators seek further witnesses

(Black Press Media files)
Medicine gardens help Victoria’s Indigenous kids in care stay culturally connected

Traditional plants brought to the homes of Indigenous kids amid the COVID-19 pandemic

Most Read