How To Suggest Counseling To Your Marriage Partner

Have you ever found yourself at a crossroads in your relationship, where the weight of unaddressed issues and communication breakdowns becomes too heavy to bear? 

The path toward healing and rejuvenating your partnership might lead you to a question that’s often accompanied by uncertainty: How can you suggest marriage counseling to your partner? 

You see, the prospect of suggesting counseling to your partner can be a complex and emotionally charged task. It often involves addressing underlying issues and concerns that may have been lingering in your relationship.

Here you will delve into the nuances of how to approach this conversation and what you should consider before making the dive.  

The environment matters 

When broaching the subject of marriage counseling, choose an environment that is conducive to open and honest conversation. The best environment varies depending on your specific circumstances and the dynamics of your relationship. Jousline Savra, based in Roswell, GA helps couples work through their differences, and builds better relationships.

However, some general guidelines can help you decide:

  • Privacy: Choose a location where you can speak openly without the fear of being overheard. 
  • Comfort: Opt for an environment where both you and your partner can feel comfortable. 
  • Low Distractions: Minimize distractions that could disrupt the conversation. 
  • Safety: Make sure your partner feels safe and unthreatened. 

As you can see, the most critical factor is the comfort and emotional safety of you and your partner. So, where should you choose? 

We have some suggestions for you: 

  1. At home

Having the conversation at home provides a familiar and comfortable setting. It can allow for more privacy and may feel less intimidating. However, it’s essential to choose a time when you both can be relaxed and focused, as home environments can also be filled with distractions.

  1. During a walk

A quiet, peaceful walk in a park or nature reserve can provide a serene backdrop for a serious conversation. The physical act of walking side by side can reduce the pressure of eye contact and may encourage more openness.

  1. Over dinner

Sharing a meal offers a relaxed and intimate environment. It can be a great choice if you want to combine your discussion with quality time and demonstrate your commitment to working on the relationship.

  1. In a neutral location

Some couples prefer to have this conversation in a neutral public place, such as a café or a quiet corner of a library. This setting can reduce tension and prevent either partner from feeling cornered.

Set a preferred time 

Determining the best time to suggest marriage counseling is crucial. It can significantly influence your partner’s receptiveness and the overall success of the conversation. 

However, our advice is that there is no one-size-fits-all answer to the best time question. Just be flexible since this can vary from couple to couple. Consider your unique dynamics and your partner’s personality. 

Choose a time when you believe your partner is most likely to be open to discussing the relationship and considering counseling. Jousline Savra raises some good points when it’s the right time to discuss possible counseling within the relationship.

Here’s some guidance on choosing that time:

  • When you’re both calm: It’s best to bring up the topic when both you and your partner are in a calm and relaxed state of mind. Avoid doing so during or immediately after an argument or when emotions are running high. 
  • When you have quality time: Pick a time when you have enough time to discuss the matter thoroughly. Avoid bringing up the topic in passing or during a hectic moment in your lives. 
  • After a positive experience: Suggesting marriage counseling after a positive or enjoyable experience, such as a nice dinner or a successful day together, can be a good approach. 
  • When you’re feeling close: If you and your partner have recently felt particularly close or connected, that can be a suitable time to bring up counseling. 
  • During a moment of vulnerability: Sometimes, vulnerability can pave the way for honest discussions. So, if either you or your partner has recently shared personal concerns or vulnerabilities, it might be an opportune time to discuss counseling.

The critical thing is your partner’s emotional readiness. Choose a time when you sense that your partner is open to the conversation and when you can create a safe, understanding, and empathetic atmosphere for discussing your relationship and the potential benefits of counseling.

Set clear goals 

When you approach your partner about the idea of marriage counseling, it’s essential to have clear goals in mind. Defining your objectives not only helps you articulate your intentions but also demonstrates your commitment to improving the relationship. 

Here are some guidelines for setting clear goals:

  • Identify specific concerns: Start by identifying the specific concerns or challenges you believe need addressing in your relationship. This could be related to communication, trust, intimacy, or any other issues you’ve been facing. The more specific you can be about what you’d like to work on, the more focused and productive the counseling can be.
  • Express your intentions: Clearly express your intentions to your partner. Let them know that your goal for counseling is not to assign blame but to strengthen the relationship. Ensure your partner understands that this is a collaborative effort to improve both of your lives.
  • Discuss desired outcomes: Share your vision of what a successful counseling journey would look like. Talk about the positive changes you hope to see in your relationship and how these changes will benefit both of you. The trick is to be realistic but also optimistic about the potential outcomes.
  • Listen to your partner: Give your partner a chance to express their goals and expectations for counseling as well. Actively listen to their concerns and objectives. This two-way conversation will help align your goals and ensure both of your needs are considered.
  • Be flexible: While it’s essential to set clear goals, be open to adjusting them as you progress through counseling. The process might reveal additional areas that require attention, or you might find that your initial goals evolve as you work with your counselor.

Setting clear goals demonstrates that you are invested in the marriage and are willing to put in the effort to make it work.

Some concerns your partner may have 

Sometimes, your partner may not be in for marriage counseling due to several factors. It’s good to identify these factors to ensure you know what to tell them when bringing up the idea. 

Here are some concerns your partner may have:

  • Finances

One of the primary concerns your partner might express is the financial aspect of marriage counseling. 

They could worry about the cost of counseling sessions, especially if insurance doesn’t cover it, or if it might add a financial burden to your lives. It’s essential to address this concern by discussing options for affordable counseling or potential benefits that outweigh the cost.

  • We can fix it together

Some partners might be hesitant about counseling because they believe they can solve the relationship issues on their own. They may feel that seeking external help is a sign of weakness or failure. 

In response, you can emphasize that counseling is not a sign of weakness but a proactive approach to improving your relationships, and that professional guidance can provide valuable tools and perspectives that can be challenging to achieve alone.

  • Privacy and stigma

Another concern your partner might have is related to privacy and potential societal stigma. They may worry about who will know that you’re seeking counseling or be concerned about judgment from friends or family. 

You can solve this by highlighting the confidential nature of counseling and emphasizing that it’s a personal choice you’re making for the betterment of your relationship, rather than something to be ashamed of.

Ensure you find the right therapist

One of the crucial steps in suggesting marriage counseling to your partner is finding the right therapist or counselor. This choice can significantly impact the effectiveness of your counseling journey. With over 25 years of experience in family & marriage counseling, Jousline can help you find common ground.

Here are some tips to guide you in this:

  • Research: Look for professionals with the appropriate credentials, such as licensed marriage and family therapists or clinical psychologists. 
  • Compatibility: It’s essential to find a therapist with whom both you and your partner feel comfortable and connected. 
  • Recommendations: Seek recommendations from friends, family, or online reviews if you’re uncertain about where to start. 
  • Consider Specialization: Some therapists specialize in specific areas, such as communication, intimacy, or conflict resolution. 

Jousline Savra is here to help

Jousline understands the essence of partnership and helps you understand your unique needs. As an experienced and highly qualified marriage and family therapist, she is dedicated to helping couples like you navigate the complexities of love and relationships. 

With a track record of success and a client-centered approach, she is committed to providing you with the support and guidance you need to strengthen your partnership. Schedule a session with her today.