When it comes to marriage counseling and therapy, one of the biggest problems a spouse can face is inviting their partner into the process. In most cases, one party in a relationship or marriage is aware of the need for marriage counseling, while the other may be unaware, in denial, or avoiding the issues at hand.
It isn’t uncommon for spouses to show reluctance towards the idea of going to therapy or marriage counseling. Many will often try to avoid the issue entirely and try to convince themselves that their marriage is just struggling a little bit but does not need professional help. Others may be against seeing a therapist or counselor due to issues of privacy, vulnerability, or the investment of time and money.
Any time that you seek marriage counseling or therapy, there will be reasons to avoid the process. However, those who truly take the time to seek out help and guidance in their marriage will often find the hope and restoration that they need to heal their marriage.
When we discuss marriage counseling and therapy with clients at Novus Mindful Life, there are a variety of reasons that spouses may try to avoid discussing the option. Let’s break down the common arguments that spouses give to avoid counseling and look at ways that you can approach the marriage conversation with confidence.
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5 Reasons Spouses Wish To Avoid Marriage Counseling:
Some spouses fear that when the come to marriage counseling or therapy, they will find themselves trapped in a moment of blame, shame, or guilt.
Some spouses remain unconvinced as to the power of therapy. Many feel that the results of counseling won’t be enough to help bring hope or restoration back to a broken relationship.
This is often seen as a fast dismissal, or a “Therapy or counseling won’t do any good.” attitude.
Spouses or partners may feel ashamed or guilty with the idea of working through difficult emotions and situations with a therapist or counselor. They fear that they may find themselves embarrassed or ashamed to discuss hard things in a counseling setting.
A spouse may feel that they are fine on their own, or that they can handle their marriage or relationship problems in their own way.
One of the main culprits to hope and healing in marriages, denial occurs when a spouse feels that the relationship is in a different place than the other. This can lead to greater conflict as one party appears to be “ignoring” the issues at hand.
It’s Normal To Feel Unsure When Approaching Your Spouse
Marriage difficulties are not usual, and many times conflict is a necessary step toward hope and healing. However, when problems get bad enough to potentially lead to counseling or therapy, it is essential that you navigate the conversation with your spouse carefully. By responding with anger, shame, or emotion, you may find yourself in a position that pushes your spouse or partner away from therapy.
Here are some of the top responses and questions we receive from those who are struggling to bring their spouse to the table for marriage counseling or therapy:
“I’m afraid that if I bring this up, the whole thing will fall apart!”
One of the first statements we often hear from clients who are looking to bring up marriage counseling or therapy with their spouse is the fear that it will blow up the relationship. While addressing the need for marital counseling can be a shock, most often the other spouse is aware of the need for counseling and therapy as well.
Any time that you address the need for counseling and therapy, remember that it is normal to want to try and fix things immediately. However, in most cases marriage problems – and their solutions – are a long-term process rather than a quick fix. With our marriage counseling and therapy services at Novus Mindful Life, we have developed our entire therapy process to ensure that both spouses see the value of their relationship and the reason to continue fighting for it over time.
Take heart in the fact that just as marriages aren’t fixed in a moment, they also won’t fall apart in the moment either. Be patient and approach the process with hope for the future.
“I’m afraid to take responsibility for my part in this difficult marriage situation!”
Many spouses who are trying to convince their significant other to join them for therapy or counseling feel that they don’t have the right to ask. However, in most cases, both partners in the relationship have a part to play in the healing and restoration of marriage.
You may be surprised to learn that taking the initiative to own your own guilt or part in a difficult situation can help the other partner come to the table. Forgiveness, honesty, and courage are important aspects of this process, so ensure that you are ready to open yourself up and be vulnerable if you are ready to move forward with marriage counseling and therapy.
“I don’t know what to expect – I haven’t told my partner my concerns!”
Feeling unsure of what to expect when you approach your spouse about marriage counseling and therapy is totally understandable. Each spouse and partner go through different seasons in life that can cause them to feel uncertain and unsure about how the other is feeling at any given moment. Often, what is needed is the right tools and knowledge to approach a difficult conversation.
At Novus, our team of skilled therapists and marriage counselors works hard to prepare those who are interested in inviting their spouses to join them for marriage therapy. We will equip you with the tools and information you need to approach your spouse with confidence and boldness to help your relationship. You never know – they may be just as interested in helping your current situation as you are!
“My spouse won’t even try therapy, so why try to convince them?”
When it comes to marriage counseling and therapy, always try to approach your spouse with hope and give them the benefit of the doubt. It is easy to believe that your spouse will respond negatively to any request for marital counseling or therapy. However, our team at Novus Mindful Life has often found that partners are surprised to discover that their spouse responds in a much more positive way than they could have ever imagined!
Remember that human connection is a need that is shared by everyone. The need and desire to express your feelings and emotions to those you love has strong power and can often overcome even the hardest hearts. Remember why you made your first commitment to your spouse and partner, and let that love draw you toward them with the optimistic hope that they will respond with a positive answer.
I’ve already asked, and they’ve said ‘No!’ repeatedly!”
At Novus, we often hear from spouses seeking therapy or marriage counseling that they have asked their spouse to join them and have been pushed away or shut down.
While this can be difficult to hear, it is a normal aspect of the process, and there is still hope to convince your spouse to join you. All it takes is time, research, and patience.
Consider taking the time to sit down and write out your reasons for wanting to try therapy or counseling. This can look different for each individual and spouse and will require you to invest some time in your own soul-searching. However, with the right time and wording, you can help approach the idea of marriage counseling and therapy in a fresh, more approachable way. Remember to not give up, as many final “No”s often turn into the first “Yes!”
Top Tips For Having “The Talk”
Are you planning to ask your spouse to join you for marriage therapy or counseling? At Novus Mindful Life, we work with men and women every day who are struggling to convince their spouses to join them for therapy and counseling for their marriage.
If you are preparing yourself to confront your spouse to request they join you for therapy, here are three tips to help make the conversation happen more effectively and efficiently.
Pay Attention To Timing & Tone
Discussing marriage counseling or therapy with your spouse can be a complex and emotionally charged event. When approaching your spouse to discuss therapy as an option, it is essential that you prepare yourself and ensure that your timing and tone are appropriate.
The first step in convincing your partner to join you for couple’s therapy is to choose the right time to discuss the opportunity, as well as selecting the right approach for the conversation.
If you simply get angry and lash out with rage at your partner over the idea of marriage counseling or therapy, they will have little reason to accept your argument as valid. In fact, responding with anger, guilt, or shame may be more likely to incur their own wrath and can result in greater resistance from his or her end.
Most marriage and relationship counselors agree that it is not wise to address the topic of marriage counseling or therapy when you are in the throes of a fight or conflict. Rather, couples should attempt to create a safe and calm space for the conversation to happen. Consider planning ahead for a time to discuss therapy or counseling when you are in an enjoyable or comfortable setting.
When partners approach the topic of marriage counseling or therapy from a place of love, the concept suddenly becomes far less threatening for the spouse that is being asked to join. They need to know that you’re only looking out for their best interests and the strength of the relationship.
Remain Calm As You Voice Your Concerns With The Relationship
If you have reached the point that you are considering marriage counseling or therapy, then it is likely that you are in a heightened state of emotion. This can cause you to approach your spouse or partner with anger or frustration.
Unfortunately, one of the worst things you can do when trying to convince your partner to join you for marriage counseling is to threaten them. Bringing up the idea of divorce or attempting to blame them for those aspects of the relationship that are not going well is only going to cause them to recoil or withdraw.
Rather than taking an ‘attack’ approach with your conversation, consider beginning the conversation by taking the time to focus on the good aspects of your marriage relationship. Then slowly move toward the concerns you have and the idea that you may wish to give therapy and counseling a try.
Once you have slowly moved into the concept of therapy and counseling, you can then begin to work through your concerns in a calm and managed way. If at all possible, avoid pointing fingers or placing blame at the feet of your spouse.
When it comes to concerns, it is easy for any discussion to quickly take a turn toward threats, accusations, and anger. This can cause your spouse to withdraw or respond negatively to the idea of marriage therapy or counseling. Move slowly and respond with kindness, and you can move through the conversation with a greater chance of success.
Take The Time To Educate Your Partner About Marriage Counseling & Therapy
As you move from the initial discussion of marriage counseling and therapy to the steps of actually pursuing hope, you must provide your spouse with the necessary information about counseling.
When you begin the process by working with a trained marriage counselor near you, they will have the opportunity to walk you through the process of preparing your spouse with the information they need to move forward confidently – together.
A therapist or marriage counselor will equip you with the information necessary to help your spouse know what to expect in the therapy or counseling sessions. They will help you to understand how to communicate that marriage counseling is about relationship renewal and restoration rather than pointing out blame or guilt.
With the right amount of encouragement and information, your spouse or partner will feel more comfortable in moving ahead with counseling and therapy and will be more willing to engage in the process with their hopes set on restoration.
Work With Novus Mindful Life To Begin Your Journey Toward Marriage Therapy
Discussing the idea of marriage counseling and therapy is a difficult process. To ensure that your spouse responds with the greatest chance of restoration and renewal, it is essential that you take the time to prepare yourself and your spouse for what will be a tough conversation.
At Novus Mindful Life, our team of trained and experienced marriage counselors and therapists can help you through both the steps of asking your spouse to join you for counseling, as well as the process of therapy. If you fear that your relationship is struggling to a breaking point, don’t wait until it is too late. Give our team a call today to discover how working with a therapy team can make it easier for your partner to join you in building the relationship you both want.