Seeking couples counseling is a joint decision. Both the partners need to mutually agree to go for this option, if they really want to improve their bond. The problem starts to occur when one desperately wants to attend couples counseling and the other is hesitant. The reason behind the resistance could be their lack of belief in it.
They may feel that it is just a waste of time and money, or fear that it could cause even more trouble, or they may not e ready to show their vulnerability and open up to a third person. Whatever the reason may be, if one of the partners feels that counseling is what they need to try, then here are 6 ways to convince your significant other.
You need to tell them about the problems that are present in the marriage or committed relationship. Do not beat about the bush because of the fear of hurting them. You need to be straightforward and direct, and address them respectfully and courteously. You need to be clear about your concerns, and let them know that the goal is the progress of the relationship and positivity, and nothing else.
It is important to convince your partner that the counseling will help both of you to grow and improve communication. Make sure that they know you are not blaming them for all the issues, but instead, trying to work it out with them. Sometimes, it is the fear of blame that is causing reluctance in partners regarding therapy sessions. They feel that the counselor will be biased and blame them for all the troubles. Moreover, nothing good will come out of blaming them, for you either. You will start to internalize being the victim, and because of the fear of getting blamed, your partner will not attend the sessions. It takes two to tango, so own up for your part of the problem, if you want constructive results.
Let your partner know that the goal of the relationship is not to ‘fix’ either of you, or decide on who is right and who is wrong. Rather it is to repair the relationship, and seek insights from an unbiased third person about the factors that are draining the bond. List down the common goals you would like to achieve such as doing things differently, looking for solutions, and discovering other ways of resolving issues, before going to the counselor.
Instead of using commanding tones and trying to control them, make use of compassion in order to influence them. Share your fears and hopes. This will help your partner understand that you are as scared as they are, but are still risking all of it for the relationship. This will make them drop their walls, and be vulnerable too. When you own up to your contribution, and fight less, they will start taking couples counseling into consideration, if they still have some hope left for the relation.
Sometimes, it is ego that stops one of the partners from taking a step in the direction of counseling. They do not want the third person to know what goes on between the two of you. In such circumstances, just ask your partner to do this as a favor for you or a way to show you that they still care about you. Let them know that this short-term investment will benefit the relationship or marriage for a very long time.
Encourage your partner that there is no risk in trying couples counseling for a week, and that the relationship is worth giving a shot. Make sure that they know that they have the choice to opt out of it, if it does not feel right. The trial period will assist both of you in finding out whether you are ready for this step or not, and whether it is the one for you. If there are positive changes, then your spouse will automatically come back happily.
Do not give up on the relationship just yet. It is a precious gift that you do not find easily. Instead, find a couples counselor in NY that suits the needs of both partners, and go for it with a positive attitude and high hopes.