It’s natural for a romantic relationship to ebb and flow. There’s likely no couple that maintains perfect synchronization between partners. People in successful relationships understand this and develop tools to go through times that feel out of phase.
Coming by these skills isn’t always easy, particularly in the heat of the moment. Relationship counseling pinpoints the words, actions, and strategies to help you over the hurdles. Dr. Jon Deam of Dr. Jon Deam suggests that the earlier you start counseling, the sooner you’ll know how to work through inevitable conflicts constructively.
How to talk to your partner about relationship counseling
One of the toughest situations you may face is bringing forward the idea of counseling with your partner. They may not share your perception of the need, or they may be resistant to the idea that you “need help” as a couple.
Some strategies can help you win your partner’s cooperation, regardless of the reasons for the relationship struggles you want to resolve. We’ve compiled some points for you to consider. These may not all apply to your situation. Instead, look to the ideas and concepts for moving forward and apply those that fit your life and your style.
Focus on positivity
Reaching out to a counselor to create change within your relationship is a positive step, and that tone should follow through the process. Couples therapy often carries a stigma of “last resort” when used as a plot device in popular culture. The goal is to make things better, and what could be more positive than that? Be sure you’re sharing your optimism for the process as well as expressing the things that you feel are already good.
Level your emotions
When you’re feeling angry, it’s sometimes hard to hide, and it can distract you from the balanced and hopeful message you want to impart. Similarly, people say things they don’t mean when emotions are high, and suggesting counseling during a fight sends precisely the opposite message than what you intend. Pick your moments.
This isn’t simply the flip side of positivity. Negative thoughts, words, and even behaviors can sneak in if you have no strategy to avoid them. Plan for a way to avoid a defensive reaction if your partner responds defensively about counseling. Find points of agreement and common ground. If they suggest that things aren’t that bad, you can agree while expressing your hope that counseling can move points of conflict toward the positive side.
Affirm your commitment
Counseling isn’t about the failure of a relationship, it’s about finding success. Share your love, your patience, and all the good qualities you brought into your connection and commitment originally. Your partner may need or want the reassurance of the foundation of the relationship and, with that, can share your vision for the path forward.
Dr. Jon makes relationship counseling convenient and accessible. You can visit in person or via telemedicine. Once you have an agreement to move forward, call or click to book your first session. The value of your relationship is worth it, so schedule your appointment now.