Moving from Animosity to Empathy to Connection

Couple Connecting

Do you wonder if anything will ever change? With marriage counselling, it is possible to stop doing what isn’t working and to find what does. Then you can rebuild your marriage into one of empathy, warmth, understanding, trust and forgiveness.

As your marriage counsellor, I will help stop those arguments, disagreements and conversations that always end with more misunderstanding, hurt and animosity? I will show you how to interact in a positive and constructive way that moves you together, not apart.

It is Painful To Be Apart

aloneConflict can be so overwhelming that couples cannot help but engage in negative behaviors. These often involve defensiveness, blaming and negative interpretation of each other’s intentions and actions. This escalates the pain and erodes the trust in the relationship, resulting in more aggressiveness or withdrawal and continued alienation.

A Better Way – Marriage Counselling

There is a way forward that is not full of tension and conflict and that allows you to express your wants and needs in a way that they can be heard by your spouse. Marriage counselling builds a positive connection that allows both of you to be more at ease with each other and gain more of what you want in your relationship.

Critically Important:


A good place to start is to acknowledge that there is something wrong and that what you’re doing isn’t working. A good place to address this is with a marriage counsellor.

The well-respected marriage researcher and writer John Gottman said that it is not negative emotional engagement that predicts divorce, but rather the lack of emotional engagement. Feeling the frustration from an unsatisfactory relationship at least means that you still care and want something better. This is an important motivating factor that causes couples to seek marriage counselling.

“Unlatching” from Negative Emotions and Behaviors

Couple Connecting

Couples can make the assumption that serious and persistent conflicts and differences will get resolved on their own. They usually don’t. Relationship issues can be complex and it isn’t just a matter of learning how to “communicate”. Your experiences, values, and feelings are an important part of the relationship, which may be very different from your partners. Marriage counselling can help you understand and appreciate these differences.

Famous relationship counsellor Susan Johnson said that simple skill building is not sufficient for marital improvement; rather, the ability to “unlatch” from negative emotional and behavioral cycles is required. Sometimes couples cannot do this alone because they are much too reactive to stay away from their established patterns, which result in feelings of hurt and emotional separation.

My role as your marriage counsellor would be to identify and track the emotional experience of each person and to support both of you as you learn to engage in a more productive way so that each feels heard, considered, respected and acknowledged.

Change Doesn’t All Depend On Your Partner

Healthier individuals make for healthier relationships. When we have a problem, most of us would like the people around us to change, to meet our needs and see our point of view. The reality is that it is almost impossible to directly change our spouse. But when you focus on improving yourself and how you act in the relationship, it will change.

That is why even if your spouse doesn’t want to pursue marriage counselling I would encourage you to come to get the support you need to grow as an individual and as a partner. The objective is to help you to understand your needs, your part in the problem, how you communicate, and to take care of yourself in the mist of the stress and anxiety.

Changing yourself is not always an easy task but it will certainly make you a better person and give your relationship a better chance versus neglecting your part (however big or small) and expecting the other person to change. It is not uncommon where one partner’s growth and change leads to a shift in the attitude of the other so that positive changes in the relationship can take place.

Positive Change Is Possible

Marriage counselling resolving conflict

Emotionally committed relationships can be a crucible for growth. It challenges us to be our best so that we can give our best. Marriage Counselling can support you to not just survive, but to thrive and to grow in a more fulfilling direction.

I believe that positive change is possible. I encourage you to try doing something different, to get something different, something better. Marriage counselling, therapy, coaching, call it what you want, it can and does make a difference.

Give me a call and let’s have a conversation to see how counselling can help. I offer a free phone consultation so I can understand what you are looking for in a marriage counsellor and to let you know how I would address it.

Counselling Solution - Mark Tinley MA LMFT

Duke Wellington House 7A
14-24 Wellington Street
Central, Hong Kong Island
Hong Kong
Phone: +852 9315 2151