Remainly - Online Couples Therapy

How can I get my partner to participate in couples therapy?

Challenges arise in every relationship. So, when a couple is prepared to face these challenges as one - no matter how big or small – finding a resolution to help the relationship move forward is much easier to achieve.

It’s common to see couples lacking in the skills and approach needed to work on and overcome the issues they are trying to iron out of their relationship. When they are left unresolved the stability of the relationship can become affected. Therefore, it’s important to realise when support is needed.

Receiving guidance from a professional is becoming more and more widespread in recent times, which is largely down to many people feeling more comfortable talking about their feelings.

Therapy shouldn’t be the ‘Hail Mary’, last-ditch option that some use it for. Instead, it’s here to assist in a preventative capacity to improve and not rescue a relationship.

If you feel that you and your partner may benefit from couples therapy, we have some insightful pointers below that will make it easier approaching the subject.

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Let them know you love them

First of all, it’s important to reassure your partner that you love still love them. Often, when the topic of couples therapy is brought up, it signals to a spouse that the love isn’t there anymore.

This is where you take the time to affirm your loving feelings with your significant other. Comfort them by letting them know you want to seek therapy because you love them and not because you don’t.

Couple holding hands looking at sunset

Find an emotional connection

One of the best ways to find that emotional connection so that you are both in a comfortable mindset to talk about therapy is to enjoy a fun activity together. For example, you can take a walk or play crazy golf and while you’re there, express at least five things that you appreciate about your partner. In doing so, you’re solidifying the fact that your partner matters to you – both in your mind and theirs. This is useful for bringing about calm and receptive emotions.

So, when you start the conversation, ensure you pick a convenient time for your partner. During your fun activity can be good, or when you’re settled at home after an enjoyable day out. Don’t opt to bring it up during the frantic rush before work in the morning or when they’ve just returned from a mad day at work either. Your goal is to approach it when both of you are feeling relaxed and calm.

Pinpoint the shortfall

Now you’re both sitting down to chat, this is the time to bring emphasis on learning more about your partner’s outlook on the relationship as well as what they want moving forward. Agreeing to attend couples therapy becomes possible when you’re both inspired by the idea of what you want out of the relationship, especially when your partner agrees that therapy will help to achieve their ambitions for your relationship.

Asking them what they’d like to do less or more to enjoy a better relationship is useful. Try not to take it to heart if your partner opens up and begins to blame you for issues they have. This is an expression of their pain, so you should focus on listening in a non-defensive way and empathise with the feelings that your partner displays. Ask open-ended questions that will give you a deeper insight into understanding what your significant other is saying.

When you’ve established an understanding of your partner’s wants and needs, you can then begin delving into what might be holding the relationship back at the moment.

Bridge the gap

Hopefully, you’ve now pinpointed the shortfall in the relationship, so the next step is to work at bridging the gap from your current situation to a new and improved kind of relationship that you and your loved one want.

It’s important to make sure that your intentions are clear; you’re not trying to change your partner, you’re looking to improve the quality of your relationship. This means that when you discuss couples therapy you can touch on how it will help to strengthen and repair issues in your relationship.

Why not mention some of the benefits you’ll both enjoy from the sessions? Highlight how it’s designed to help you communicate better, how you’re excited about what it could do for your relationship, and how it will help you to understand more about your partner as well as how you can be a better partner for them.

Happy couple hugging

The final step

You’ve now reached the stage where you can invite the special person in your life to attend couples therapy with you. It should now be much easier to approach it with little to no pressure or preconceptions.

Remember, it should feel like a request and not a demand, so bear in mind that the invitation should be presented as a choice. But, what if your partner says no to the invitation?

Dealing with a no

If you’re faced with a response that you don’t want to hear from your partner, take the time to emphasise that you respect their choice, but don't give up the notion that your relationship contains both good and not so good patterns of behaviour.

Do what you can to field their concerns openly and honestly without any pressure whatsoever. If you feel as though their concerns have been addressed, you can follow it up by asking if removing these apprehensions means they would now be in favour of reconsidering couples therapy.

If the answer is still a no, agree to move on from the conversation and inform your loved one that you respect their choice. Give them a few days to think about it and they may come back to you on the topic.

If the answer is yes, then sit down together and choose a counsellor together. This will prevent your partner from potentially feeling ‘ganged up on’ by you and the counsellor you have already selected. If you agree together, you’re strengthening the idea as a couple.

If you are looking to find couples therapy, you can browse our various pathways accessible on our website. At Remainly you don’t have to worry about finding a suitable counsellor since all our consultations rely on pre-recorded videos which introduce beneficial conversations.

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