How do I talk to my partner about counselling?
This issue is the same for men and women alike.
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 remote.
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 counselling when this is the case.
- Don't start this sort of discussion before going to bed or late in the evening for instance
- Avoid the discussion just as your partner arrives home.
- Your partner must not feel hassled or trapped.
- Finding a neutral environment like a park or beach that gives you both a feeling of openness may be better for some people.
- Take care to ensure your discussion cannot be overheard.
"Own the problem,
own the solution"
The most important thing to do is to refrain from attacking and blaming. This may be more difficult than choosing the words that need to be said.
You will need to choose you own words, but the simple points below will help guide you. Think of the person you love when you choose your words.
If you believe in the possibility of change that counselling can offer then your sincerity and belief will be evident.
Guiding your discussion.
1. Own the problem, own the solution . Very important.
2. Find a way to 'own' the desire to find a solution & show it.
3. Use 'I' statements.
4. Listen to your partner, to their concerns
5. Don't get into a huge discussion
6. Just try to reach an agreement on how to resolve the issues.
7. Commit to do what has been agreed upon
8. Make the appointment ASAP.
The other person 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.
Typical excuses are
- Travel times.
- Not enough time.
- It won't work anyway.
- How can talking help?
These matters can addressed 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 coming to counselling?
- You should try it before you can say it doesn't work!
It may be fear having to share intimate issues with another person or the unknown aspect of attending counselling. Not having attended counselling before leaves your imagination as a 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 counselling.
What can you do if your partner stays resistant to 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'll get some answers. See Individual counselling
Your effort shows your committment to working on the relationship. The ultimate outcome of your actions would be that your partner agrees to go to counselling with you.
Copyright Humaneed 2013.