The question is the same for men as it is for women.
It’s important just to start the discussion.
You and your partner have arrived at a place where you may not be communicating well.
Being able to agree on the method for resolving what’s going on is becoming increasingly difficult.
Each of you may have a different view of the problem, one person may not even realise there is a problem.
So how do you talk about couples counselling???
- Don’t start this sort of discussion before going to bed or late in the evening or instance;
- Avoid the discussion just as your partner arrives home;
- Your partner must not feel hassled or cornered;
- Finding a neutral environment like a park, a beach, out walking together, a space that can give you both a feeling of openness may be better for some people
- Take care to ensure your discussion cannot be overheard.
The most important thing to do is to refrain from attacking and blaming the other. This may be more difficult than choosing the words that need to be said.
You will need to choose your own words, but the simple points below will help guide you. Think of the person you love when you choose your words.
“Own the problem, own the solution”
If you believe in the possibility of change that couples counselling can offer, then your sincerity and belief will be evident.
Guiding your discussion
- Own the problem, own the solution
- Find a way to ‘own’ the desire to find a solution and show it
- Use ‘I’ statements
- Listen to your partner, to their concerns
- Don’t get into a huge discussion
- Just try to reach an agreement on how to resolve the issues
- Commit to do what has been agreed upon
- Make the appointment ASAP
The other person must understand must understand absolutely that relationships need a team approach: if it’s not good for one of you, it’s not good for both. The relationship will only be good when both of you are happy.
Your partner could put barriers in the way, such as…
- Travel times
- Insufficient time
- It won’t work anyway
- How can talking help
These matters can be address when put into context with other day-to-day events…
- How long do you travel to get to work?
- What leisure activities cost a similar amount?
- What is the cost of not doing couples counselling?
- You should try it before you can say it doesn’t work?
It may be fear of having to share intimate issues with another person or the unknown aspect of attending couples counselling. Not having attended couples counselling before leaves ones imagination as the guide.
Counselling in itself has received mixed opinions on its success. Results that reflect the stage at which a relationship had reached before seeking help rather than the general effectiveness of couples counselling.
What can you do if your partner stays resistant to couples counselling?
The answer is to look after you. Get advice on the issues that most concern you. In doing so, you will gain a greater understanding of your issues and you will get some answers.
Your effort shows your commitment to working on the marriage. The ultimate outcome of your actions would be that your partner agrees to go to couples counselling with you.