Holding a marriage together takes work. It takes commitment and resolve from both parties to build a home and a relationship at that. Sometimes, however, things tend to fall apart or take a completely different direction. In such circumstances, couples’ therapy or marriage counselling, is often recommended, among other options. Marriage experts recognise counselling as a tool that helps couples to resolve conflicts and misunderstandings that would otherwise have ruined their relationship and mend it instead. Pastor Simon Pierre Rwaramba says various couples might seek marriage counselling for different reasons, but particularly those who are at a higher risk for divorce. He says marriage counselling and couple therapy can be very effective, especially when the approach is starting sooner rather than later, that is, having pre-counselling before marriage. However, when the counselling is needed during a marriage, when a couple is facing challenges, Rwaramba says the best approach is to have separate sessions. “The husband should have his session and the wife should have hers separately. This will allow the counsellor to help each one to identify his or her own weakness and prevent accusations as it would have happened during a common session,” he says. For marriage counselling to be effective, Yvonne Nirere, a wife and mother, says the wife and husband must be willing to save their relationship. She, however, adds that in some cases, restoring a marriage may not always be the best option or even possible. “In such cases, divorce may be the best option. Counselling is mostly helpful when the couple chooses to be honest with themselves and the counsellor; this helps them communicate openly with each other.” For Sam Shyaka, a procurement manager, counselling should always come in as a last resort for couples seeking to mend their marriage. He says, him and the wife have faced different challenges but have luckily managed to resolve them without the help of an expert. Shyaka, however, recommends counselling for couples whose challenges are beyond their control. “Sometimes it becomes difficult for a couple to talk about what’s bothering them. Though these are normally private matters, at times seeking counsel from a third party is very important. A good therapist in this case can help guide you on how to overcome such circumstances and even be comfortable talking about certain issues that would otherwise have been difficult to discuss.” The wake counselling and mediation website indicates that marriage counselling is important for addressing marital concerns because it helps couples take time out of their busy lives and come together to really focus on themselves. The counsellor acts as a sort of mediator between the spouses and facilitates healthy and effective communication. It is particularly helpful where couples are set on improving their relationship but are not sure how to go about doing so. According to the website, the counsellor can help to analyse the behavioural patterns of the spouses and identify those which lead to conflict. Once such patterns have been identified, the couple can, with the help of the counsellor, work on modifying them. Effective communication is one of the most important aspects of any marriage, however, it is not uncommon for couples to reach an impasse and lose their ability to share their feelings and needs with one another. Counselling can give the couple tools to start improving their communication, for example by eliminating bad habits such as constantly interrupting the other partner or speaking too much and not giving the other partner a chance to respond. In addition, where the couple has been reluctant or too busy to face the underlying issues that are causing problems in their marriage, counselling can serve as a platform where these issues can finally be confronted, the information goes on to indicate.