Posted on: 16 May 2016
When you feel like your marriage is falling apart, it's hard to know what to do. You may feel as if you've tried everything that you know how to do already, and you may be searching for new tools to help you work on your marriage. Couples therapy can help provide you with new tools and strategies that will help you build a healthier relationship. But what if your partner won't agree to go with you? Take a look at some things that you can do to encourage your spouse to join you in couples therapy.
Don't Ask When You're Angry
Too often, the idea of therapy gets thrown out in the middle of an already heated argument. When tempers are high, your spouse may not feel inclined to agree to anything that you propose. In fact, they're much more likely to fight you on the idea when the two of you are already at odds.
Instead, bring up the idea during a time when the two of you are getting along. It helps if you don't spring the idea on your partner with no warning. Let them know you want to have a talk about your relationship, and ask if this is a good time for them to talk. If they say that it's not a good time to talk, respect their wishes and try to set a time that is good for them – after the kids go to bed, for example, or when they're done watching a movie. When you bring the idea of therapy up in a calm, safe setting, your partner may be more inclined to listen.
Admit Your Own Failings
Sometimes, one partner will be resistant to the idea of couples therapy because they are afraid that the counseling sessions will be all about everything they did wrong. If you and your spouse aren't getting along, it's likely that they already feel that you're blaming them for the rift in your relationship, and may perceive a therapist as an authority figure that will also put the blame on them.
The truth is, a marriage takes two people. Both of those people are responsible for the problems within the marriage. Chances are that you've contributed to the marriage problems in some way, even if you're not sure how. When you're talking to your partner about counseling, make it clear that you accept your share of responsibility for the state of the marriage, and that you want to go to counseling to learn how you can make your marriage better. If your spouse also wants to make the marriage better, they may respond more positively to the idea of counseling if it's clear that you both have work to do, and it's not just about them.
The hard truth is that you may simply not be able to convince your spouse to go to therapy with you. You can't force them or guilt them into it. You can't control what they do or don't do. What you can control is what you do, and there's nothing stopping you from going to couples therapy by yourself.
Surprisingly, going alone may be just as helpful as going together. A University of Denver study showed that couples benefited from relationship-skills training as much when only one partner got that training as they did when both partners attended sessions. You can learn skills that will improve your relationship on your own, and you can pass them onto your partner, either deliberately or simply by example. You will feel happier when you're working on yourself and your own relationship skills, and that can translate to a happier marriage. When your partner sees the changes in you and in your relationship, they may feel more inclined to join you. But even if they don't, you'll still be doing what's best for you and working on your marriage to the best of your ability.
For many couples, counseling really is the key to a happier and healthier marriage. Contact locations like Park Center Inc to find out how you can start improving your marriage as soon as possible.Share