A lot of people associate counseling with a relationship near ending or divorce, but it can be a useful tool in saving a troubled relationship, at any stage. In fact, the earlier it’s put to use, the more likely it is to work. If it can prevent a painful break up, why don’t more people consider it?
Times Have Changed
It’s far less of an issue to seek counseling than it was in the past. It’s worth noting that a lot of marriages end, after several decades, because neither of the partners will consider any external help. This is definitely a falling trend, though it can still be tough to get people to agree to counseling. It’s always sad to see this happen, so the next thing to consider is how to go about taking the next step, towards saving your relationship.
Don’t Be Judgmental
The best way, to raise the subject of counseling, is to avoid anything which sounds like an accusation. If your partner feels like they are the problem, in the relationship, you will often find they close the doors to communication. It can then be really hard to get things moving again. The counseling is for both of you, but it shouldn’t harm to suggest that you’d benefit from it.
Take The Lead
Even if you think your partner is responsible for the majority of the relationship’s problems, you can take the lead, without having to accept any blame yourself. It won’t hurt to suggest that you want counseling to be a better partner. When you get there, you’ll have plenty of opportunity to learn about each other’s perspectives, which will allow you to learn together, finding real solutions in the process.
Relationship Length Doesn’t Matter
It shouldn’t matter if you’ve been in a 20 year marriage or have just moved in together. Remember that relationship problems can hit at any time, you shouldn’t wait around to fix them, in most cases. You can halt divorce, or you can stop little problems become huge problems, so it’s really up to you. Don’t let a situation brew and fester, as it’s likely to get worse if left unchecked.
It’s Not Doomed
If you suggest counseling, it’s pretty common for people to think of this as a sign of impending doom, within the relationship. You’ll need to explain that this is not true, the opposite is, in fact, the case. This is the opportunity to save the relationship, not a sign that it’s over.
If All Else Fails…
If you can’t get your partner to attend, you can go alone. This won’t be as effective, but it might work as a last ditch effort. If your partner sees you attending, it might change their mind. If this doesn’t work, you may need to consider, in greater detail, why they don’t want to attend, especially if any reasons they’ve given before don’t explain their concerns.