In Part 1 of this guide, we went over some potential reasons why your partner may not want couples counseling. Now we will look into some solutions for those issues so you can improve your quality of life no matter what.
Explain Why You Want Couples Counseling
Tell your partner the specific reasons why you want couples counseling. Instead of saying “We should see a therapist,” say “I have a hard time communicating my concerns with you. Maybe a couples therapist could help.” Do you feel like your arguments go around in circles? Are there issues you’ve never been able to bring closure to? Are you worried about the long-term state of your relationship? Tell your partner about these concerns so he or she can see just how valuable couples counseling could be.
Consider Individual Counseling First
Many couples go through individual counseling in addition to couples counseling. This allows them to work on personal issues, such as anxiety, low self-esteem, depression, stress management and more. If your partner does not want couples counseling at this time, you can still work through your personal struggles with a therapist. When your spouse sees positive changes in your life, he or she may be more inclined to go through counseling with you. This self-improvement will also improve the dynamic of your relationship because you will have a better understanding of your thoughts and emotions.
Talk to Your Counselor about Ways to Improve Your Relationship
Your individual counselor may provide some couples counseling tips for you. These will be limited because the therapist doesn’t know your partner’s personality, lifestyle, experiences, or perspective. All your therapist knows is your filtered view of your partner. Nevertheless, your counselor can suggest ways to open communication in your relationship or see your partner’s point of view. This is not as personalized as couples therapy, but it is an effective jumpstart for conflict resolution.
Create a Compromise – “Just Go to Two Appointments with Me”
If your partner doesn’t want the long-term commitment of couples counseling, suggest a trial run. “Come with me to two appointments, and if you hate it, we don’t have to go anymore.” We say two appointments because the first appointment is mostly an ice breaker. You learn a little bit about your therapist, and your therapist learns a little bit about your lives. The real work begins during the second appointment, once you’ve established a foundation to build on.
To learn more about couples counseling or to schedule an appointment with a licensed couples counselor in Wisconsin, call 920-733-2065. Sherman Counseling provides couples therapy, individual counseling and family counseling at multiple therapist offices in Wisconsin. Our highly-rated couples counselors and marriage counselors receive frequent referrals because of their commitment to quality care. Call today to get started.