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   Home  > Marriage Clinic > Tips

Why is it so hard for us to admit we need help?

Why do we find it so hard to admit we need help and to actually ask for it? Experts agree that the sooner we seek help in our marriage, the better the outcome, yet most GPs report that, by the time married people come to them for help, the problems are already so serious that their health is affected.

When my third child was born I really struggled. I was vaguely aware of being very unhappy and slipping down a slippery slope towards some sort of emotional precipice. I was too proud and too afraid of being thought a failure or inadequate as a mother to tell anyone what was going on inside. My husband sensed something was wrong, but I shut him out.

One morning a friend turned up on my doorstep, gently determined to find out what was wrong. She caught me with all my defenses down. I felt cornered, exposed, vulnerable, angry and afraid, but she gently reassured me and helped me to get the advise and support I needed and now I can look back on her arrival with gratitude.

It takes courage to admit we are not coping, to admit things are not going well, and to seek help. It's so much easier to brush things under the carpet and hope things will "sort themselves out". Fear may also hold us back. If abuse is occurring in your marriage, you must seek help at once. Social Services and the police are equipped to help in such cases.

If things are simply not going well in your marriage, have you tried talking to your wife/husband about it. If you can't do this, seek out a trusted friend, visit your GP, or contact some local counselling services (some are listed on this site, or you could try your local Citizen's Advice Bureau, surgery or church). If necessary you can go on your own, at least at first. There may be changes you can make in yourself that will change the situation and help your partner open up and work things through with you.

Remember most of us walk around looking as if we've got our lives under control and sorted out, but often it's just a cover. The brave ones are the ones who admit they haven't and do something about it!

Tip by Kate

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