Tuesday 18 June 2019

Letters to the Editor: 'Couples should first seek out counselling before divorcing'

Marriage breakdown is difficult and painful, especially when children are involved. Stock image
Marriage breakdown is difficult and painful, especially when children are involved. Stock image
Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor

Leo Tolstoy’s famous opening line of ‘Anna Karenina’ goes: “All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” 

In other words, there are countless ways to miss a bullseye, but only one way to hit it.

Marriage breakdown is difficult and painful, especially when children are involved.

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From my experience of counselling couples, I suspect that many people separate unnecessarily. Couples usually avail of counselling as a last resort, when they are on the brink of separating.

But once in the counselling room together, their problems are eminently solvable. They simply need to practise basic skills of listening, communication, negotiation and conflict resolution.

These are easily learnable skills, which give the couple the means to hit the “bullseye”, whatever challenges they face.

I will be voting ‘Yes’ in the upcoming divorce referendum, but I hope that couples who feel that they have no option but to divorce will consider couples counselling first.

In the meantime, the books ‘Couple Skills: Making Your Relationship Work’ by Kim Paleg, Matthew McKay, and Patrick Fanning, and ‘Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus’ by John Gray are good places to start for couples.

Maeve Halpin

Ranelagh, Dublin 6

Pirates bent on plunder as housing ‘ship’ hits the rocks

How long more can the good ship ‘Irish Housing’ stay viable?

It is being severely buffeted by the winds of commerce.

The trouble probably started years ago, when the two-incomers started flocking on board, driving up the cost of cabins.

This has attracted the attention of the modern-day pirates, bent on plunder – aka speculators/investors who are boarding the vessel, carving up each cabin to make multiple bunks, adding extra decks, thus accommodating more passengers and raking in loot galore from those who can afford to pay.

But what about the unfortunate third-class passengers down below? You know how pirates did it – it was overboard for those who couldn’t pay up!

Whatever lifeboats are left can get very crowded and most uncomfortable, with

little or no facilities for the long journey ashore. Can the ship be stabilised or will it capsize?

In all this mayhem, the captain appears to be helpless: so what to do?

Why not hand over the management of the ship to consultants, who will put a robot in the wheelhouse, controlled by wireless broadband from the safety of dry land?

Ted O’Keeffe

Ranelagh, Dublin 6  

Repeal result celebrations this time last year were wrong

This week marks the first anniversary of the vote that took place to remove the life-saving Eighth Amendment from the Irish Constitution.

Its removal was followed by triumphant celebrations in Dublin Castle by pro-abortion activists and later by the introduction of one of the most permissive abortion laws in the world. 

The repeal of the Eighth Amendment was a horrific result.

The vote has led to the introduction of taxpayer-funded abortion on demand in Irish hospitals and GP practices, trampled on freedom of conscience, and is now being used as an excuse to threaten freedom of expression.

Repeal was a disaster which, regardless of one’s views on abortion, should never have been celebrated.

Nicola Daveron

Galway For Life, St Augustine Street, Galway

Scully’s relief over end of  the school run was spot on

Congratulations to Barbara Scully on the very honest and hilarious article ‘Goodbye...to the school run’ (Lifestyle, Irish Independent, May 22).

I identify with so much in the article and while I have a few more years on this journey I will thank God for them while looking forward to Leaving Cert 2023.

Jean Coleman

Currabell, Dunmore, Co Galway

Best wishes to my former classmates, 50 years on

I left my alma mater, Blackrock College, 50 years ago this year, in June 1969.

A hard-working committee has made contact with many of us to celebrate this milestone this coming weekend.

I would find it difficult to attend this particular event, but I do wish my classmates a very successful and happy occasion.

Brian Mc Devitt

Glenties, Co Donegal

Irish Independent

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