A study has revealed that less than one in four couples seek professional counselling when faced with marital difficulties. The results showed that although 37% of struggling couples acknowledged that counselling could potentially save their marriage only 23% sought professional help, with only 12% of those believing that it helped to save their relationship.

The study highlighted a difference in gender attitudes towards marital counselling with 45% of women believing that seeking specialist help could salvage their marriage in comparison to just 28% of men. Instead, it appears that couples are seeking help outside of the formal routes, using alternative support structures in the form of friends and family.

33% of men and women agreed that they would confide in their best friend when faced with relationship problems. A further 23% said they would turn to their mum for advice. However a startlingly high percentage of people would face their problems on their own, with 40% of men choosing to confide in no one.

The survey also revealed the main causes in the breakdown of marriage showing that 40% of marriages failed due to a lack of communication between spouses. Financial concerns and a lack of appreciation of one another were also major factors.

The statistics suggest that there is a social stigma attached to professional counselling. For many couples, choosing to seek professional help can be seen as an admission of their failure, interpreting seeing a counsellor as evidence that their marriage is finally over.

Perhaps our attitudes and our perception of marital counselling need to be altered. Seeking professional help should not be viewed as proof that your marriage has failed but should be seen as evidence of your commitment to one another, showing your dedication to making the relationship work.

However, in a society where high profile divorces continuously dominate the headlines it is easy to see why many couples are choosing to accept the failure of a marriage rather than fight to make it work.

Unfortunately, not all relationships or marriages are successful. In the event that such relationships fail, as well as the emotional upset involved there are practical issues to consider. If you are going through a divorce our specialist family lawyers are on hand to provide expert legal assistance. For further information please call 0845 050 1958 or fill out the online contact form.

Alternatively, you can drop in to our family law clinic every Thursday 4.30-6.30pm at our Blackburn and Burnley offices.