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On Counseling & Getting Your Spouse to Attend

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People aren’t always open to the idea of sharing their deepest and darkest secrets to a stranger. It’s especially difficult to open up to a stranger when the details you’re asked to divulge involve your relationship with your spouse.

People don’t want to talk about their marriages with a stranger for a variety of reasons: they don’t want to be perceived as the ‘bad guy’ in the marriage, they don’t want people to tell them what to do, and they don’t want to admit that there are many problems in their relationship.

But every marriage works better if the people in it actively participate in family counseling, whether it is in Broomfield or elsewhere in Colorado. There are many facilities offering this kind of counseling, and every couple will benefit from going to these places. There is something to learn, after all, wherever one may be. But as mentioned earlier, both individuals should be willing to go to counseling, so if your spouse is not open to it, then here are some suggestions that might change his or her mind.

Go solo at first

Just because your spouse is adamant about not attending any counseling, then it doesn’t mean you have to give up on the idea as well. Try going to a counselor on your own first and see what it can do for you. Even if your partner is not tagging along, your counselor can still help you deal with some problems in your marriage by addressing what you can control.

When your counselor helps you manage some of the problems in your marriage, it’s possible that there will be many changes in how you approach your spouse afterwards. When that happens, your spouse may notice the changes and realize that going to a counselor can be beneficial to your marriage. If he or she realizes the benefits of counseling, then perhaps he or she might change his or her mind, and tag along on the next scheduled session.

Don’t bring up negative things

When you want to ask your spouse to come with you to a counseling session, do not focus on the problems of your marriage. You have no idea if your spouse feels the same way as you do with regards to your marriage. For all you know, he might feel that your marriage is perfect and doesn’t need anyone to look into it.

Instead, try to think of the positive aspects about attending counseling sessions. Think of couples you know who went through therapy and were able to strengthen their marriage — and then tell your spouse about those couples. They are testimonies to its success.

Don’t be defensive

happy couple

Still, even if you tell your spouse the positive aspects of counseling, he or she might still oppose the idea. He might become defensive when you breach the topic to him, because it could put him in a spot where he has to admit that his marriage is having problems. If he or she becomes defensive, then you need to be more understanding.

This may be difficult to do, especially if you feel that your spouse could be of more help to your marriage — if only he or she would pick up the slack. But nagging or counterattacking your partner when he or she becomes defensive won’t help. It would be better if you decide to keep a cool head.

Set some goals

Some people don’t believe in the power of therapy, because they can’t see the progress whenever they attend a session. If a couple keeps on fighting about the same things, then that couple will end up thinking that counseling is a sham. But what you should understand is that counseling is not as straightforward as fixing a broken car.

Just because you attend counseling sessions every week doesn’t mean that all of your problems will be fixed. That being said, telling your spouse that all of this won’t bring him to the table as well. What you should do is to set some goals that you believe are reachable.

For example, if you have been complaining about your husband not making time to pick up your daughter for soccer practice, then set that as a goal and see if this will change after a few weeks of counseling. If your wife has a habit of being vague when you ask her if there’s something bothering her then set that as a goal and see if it will change after a few weeks of counseling.

It may be hard to convince your spouse to attend counseling. But, as long as you approach him/her without being aggressive and as long as you both agree that your marriage is worth saving then you’ll be able to convince your spouse to tag along.

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