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Seek Relationship Help Early

Media Statement – for immediate release 20 October 2008

Seek Relationship Help Early

Relationship Services welcomes The New Zealand Institute of Economic Research report on The Value of Family: Fiscal Benefits of Marriage and Reducing Family Breakdown in New Zealand.

“Through our couple counselling work, we fully appreciate the enormous emotional, social and financial costs of separation and family breakdown,” said Cary Hayward, National Practice Manager for Relationship Services.

“The report talks about marriage being the key. In our experience, peoples commitment to their relationship (or not) is not dependent on their marital status. The real point is that making any relationship work in the long haul is hard work, and people need to feel confident to seek help early if they strike problems.”

Mr Hayward says that counselling can make a difference, providing people go early enough.

“Often people come too late, and end up saying, ‘If only we’d come earlier perhaps we could have saved our relationship.’ It is much easier to make changes before the problems get too big.”

“We also see the very real costs of people staying in dysfunctional relationships when it would be better for both the partners and the children for the couple to separate,” said Mr Hayward.

“For those relationships that do end in separation, seeking help means that the relationship is more likely to end amicably. Research also shows that most children affected by separation have the resilience to cope, particularly when their parents put the needs of their children first.”

“As a society we need to value healthy relationships, regardless of their legal status, and encourage our friends and family to seek help early when they strike problems.

Relationship Services is able to provide free counselling for most people who are facing relationship problems. People can contact their local Relationship Services office by calling 0800 RELATE.


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