Older couple holding hands

Our Couple 50+ service helping relationships in mid-life, explored in the Sunday Telegraph

The trend of couples approaching mid-life and facing challenges in their relationship has been a focus of our work since launching our Couple 50+ MOT service. And the growing appeal of the idea of ‘checking in’ with each other with some form of counselling to help ‘keep things on track’ has been picked up by the Sunday Telegraph in an interview based article in its female orientated magazine Stella.

The magazine spoke to several couples and experts about how they dealt with a new phase of their life, being 50 or over, moving towards a time in life where one is often less focussed on certain elements, such as children or work, and looking forward to the next stage. Each of them had decided to ‘reconnect’ with each other by seeing a couple counsellor across a variety of services, with the aim of strengthening their relationship. The article explores other options, such as an intensive couple retreat relationship workshop, or parenting and relationship classes, exemplified by Parents as Partners, also from Tavistock Relationships.

Tavistock Relationships’ expert Marian O’Connor and a couple from our 50+ MOT programme, a four-week series of sessions with a relationship counsellor, are quoted in the piece. Both the experts and couple talk of the positive step this route offers to those who previously have felt that their relationship has been neglected in their 'hectic' earlier years.

O’Connor explains:

“People feel they fell in love and got married and that is it. But I use the analogy of a garden; you can’t just turn your back on it… You have to keep working on it.”

The article tells the story of Sarah and Joe, who completed the Couple 50+ MOT with Tavistock Relationships and shows how they used the sessions to talk about how their relationship had evolved over the years and to recognise where they were now as people, an important way of planning for a new life stage. Says Sarah:

“We need to respect those differences and be more creative in the way we deal with each other.’

As a result of the programme they noted how much their relationship had changed for the better and had planned their first holiday on their own for 22 years.

Project Coordinator for our 50+ Couple MOT, Liz Hamlin, says that this is likely to be a trend that increases:

“The stories in this piece are not atypical of what we see. It’s really wise for couples to come and in a positive manner, seek to learn more about what makes them ‘tick’ and how their communication might be improved at this crucial stage. Partners were able to reflect on the many transitions they had navigated during their years together and draw on their experience as they looked to the future. We’d recommend this anyway when thinking about middle age, not only will you get help with any issues you may be facing, you will be supported to draw on the strengths and resources you already have that will support your future together.”

You can learn more about our short Couple 50+ MOT sessions and how to join, here.