Challenges in relationships are inevitable. When both partners are willing to face the challenges hand-in-hand and act together to find win-win solutions, the majority of problems can be managed.
But many times couples lack the needed skills and tools to work through even solvable issues in their relationship. As unresolved problems, poor relationship habits, and emotional disconnection grow, the stability and spark in the relationship seem to fade. At this stage, one partner might be too eager to get some support since they know the relationship would benefit from the guidance of a professional perspective. Yet the other half is refusing to attend.
When approaching your partner regarding attending couples therapy, you are likely to meet resistance. Certainly, people have some sort of misconceptions regarding couples therapy; they might fear “exposing” their shortcomings and feeling vulnerable, or they might believe therapy will turn them into a punching bag for the therapist and their partner.
Some couples might use therapy as a last-ditch attempt, rather than a preventative method to improve their relationship, says marriage counselor Shivani Sadhoo.
In this article, Delhi’s leading marriage counsellor Shivani Misri Sadhoo explores five effective ways to inspire your partner to join you in attending couples therapy, letting both of you embark on a journey towards a healthier and happier relationship.
Communicate openly and honestly
The primary step towards inspiring your partner to attend couples therapy is open and honest communication. Form a safe and non-judgmental space where you both can express your feelings and concerns. Explain why you feel therapy could be beneficial for your relationship and share your desire to work together towards resolving problems. Emphasize that therapy is not a symbol of failure, but rather a proactive step towards personal and relational growth.
Highlight the benefits of couple’s therapy
Help your partner understand the possible benefits of couple’s therapy. Discuss how therapy could provide a neutral environment for both of you to explore underlying issues, enhance communication, and gain valuable insights into each other’s perspectives.
Emphasize that therapy is an opportunity to learn new methods and strategies to enhance your relationship, boost intimacy, and strengthen the bond between you. By highlighting these benefits, you can easily alleviate any fears or misconceptions your partner may have about therapy.
Lead by example
Sometimes actions speak louder than words. Take the initiative by going for therapy yourself first, whether it is individual counselling or therapy focused on personal growth. This showcases your willingness to invest in your own well-being and shows your partner that therapy is not a one-sided endeavour.
As your partner witnesses the positive transformations you experience through therapy, they may become more willing to join you in couples therapy, realizing the potential it holds for both of you.
Give reassurance and support
Your partner might have reservations or fears related to attending couples therapy. Reassure them that you are committed to the process and that therapy is collaborative work, not an opportunity to shift blame or find fault. Assure them that therapy is a confidential space where both partners will be heard and understood. Give your support throughout the process, emphasizing that you are in this together and that attending therapy is an investment for your relationship’s future.
Explore different therapy options together
Research multiple therapy options together and find a therapist who resonates with both of you. Involve your partner in the selection procedure to ensure their comfort and engagement. Discuss different therapy modalities and methods, like cognitive-behavioural therapy, emotionally-focused therapy, or solution-focused therapy. By involving your partner in the decision-making process, you form a sense of ownership and collaboration, increasing the likelihood of their active participation in couples therapy.
Inspiring your partner to join you in attending couples therapy needs patience, understanding, and effective communication. By following these suggestions above —communicating openly, highlighting the benefits, leading by example, offering reassurance and support, and exploring therapy options together—you might inspire your partner to embark on this transformative journey towards a healthier and happier relationship. Remember, it takes both partners’ commitment and willingness to make a couple’s counselling a success.