Should we go to couples therapy?
Maybe you’ve been curious about couples therapy, but you’re hesitant to bring it up with your partner. Maybe you worry that your request will cause another argument, or your partner will shut down the idea. Maybe you’re hesitant about therapy yourself. To some, making the decision to go to couples therapy can feel like defeat, and there may be shame attached to recognizing that you need help. Additionally, there are myths and stigmas around couples therapy that may deter you and your partner from considering it.
For example, maybe you worry that a therapist would “take sides”, choosing who is ultimately “right” and “wrong”. On the contrary, couples therapists understand that relationships are dynamic, and improving the relationship is never about choosing sides. Couples therapists are trained to collaboratively help you and your partner understand the cycles in which you are trapped, so that together, you can change the way you interact with each other.
Addressing Therapy with a Partner
If you want to try therapy, you might still be nervous about talking to your partner about it. Here are some tips for approaching your partner about therapy:
1. Choose the Right Time
Avoid discussing therapy during an argument. This could make your partner associate therapy with negativity, and it might sound like a threat to your partner. Instead, remember that the point of going to therapy is to improve your relationship. It should be discussed in a non-threatening way, when you and your partner are both in the right mindset to discuss it openly.
2. Avoid Placing Blame
Your partner is unlikely to attend couples therapy if they expect to be blamed for the problems in your relationship. Use collaborative language that focuses on the growth you hope to make together in therapy.
If they are hesitant about therapy, ask what their concerns are, and hear them.
4. Give Them Time to Think About it
Remember that you’ve been thinking about therapy and you’ve already done some research on your own. If they need time to think about it, let them.
5. Choose a Therapist Together
Choosing a therapist together sets the tone that therapy is something you and your partner are committing to doing together.
Help is Available When You Need it
Making the decision to go to couples therapy together means you and your partner are taking an active role in improving your relationship. There is no shame in getting help; on the contrary, getting help indicates that you and your partner value your relationship, and together, you are bravely refusing to let it suffer.