Dawn: Andy, all we do is argue! Don’t you see that we can’t figure this out by ourselves? We need a counselor.
Andy: No way. I won’t tell a stranger all our private stuff.
What do you do when you and your partner go round and round arguing about the same things? You know the two of you can’t fix your communication, but they won’t go to counseling.
Here is our 5-step process to approach your partner about coming to counseling:
1. Consciously choose your approach.
Most people resist counseling because it makes them anxious. What is your partner’s underlying fear about seeing a counselor? Is it fear of therapy, fear of the outcome, or fear of change?
Don’t start with “Honey, we have to talk about our relationship.”
2. Start the conversation slowly and do not get “emotionally hijacked.”
Don’t be defensive and do be ready for your partner’s objections. Listen patiently, stay centered and validate your partner’s feelings.
3. Identify the cognitive and/or emotional objection.
Is the objection a belief about counseling or a feeling about counseling? Talk about the objection in an understanding way and address it.
4. Start the conversation in a new way.
Have a positive, upbeat tone and use “I” statements. Examples include:
“I want to learn how to handle our disagreements in a more productive way without fighting.”
“It would mean a lot to me if you would go for one session and try it.”
5. Help your partner see the benefit.
If the two of you communicated better, you would feel closer, be more intimate, and be less angry and stressed.
The most important thing you can do during this conversation is stay “centered” and continue to explore the resistance, and continue to be assertive.
We are here to support you in your relationship journey.
If you and your partner have drifted apart, call us. We are doing online therapy for Individuals and Couples. Call 410-363-2825 or email us now if your relationship is struggling.
Photo credit Wavebreakmedia