The troubled marriage. The partnership with challenges. The union of two human beings.
Think about the following questions before even starting a couples counseling session. Ask your partner to answer them, too:
1. WHAT KIND OF RELATIONSHIP DO YOU WANT?
“I want a good relationship!” “I want to feel like we’re partners, not a boss and employee or parent and child.” “I want to be part of a couple where trust is important to both of us.”
This question gets you to think of what you want as opposed to what you don’t want. It sets the stage for possibilities and solutions, rather than complaints.
“He never..” “She always..” Instead, give yourself some credit! What are YOU doing to improve things? The aim here is to point out that each person is responsible for, say, 50% of the couple relationship. Try to hold off on those complaints and start thinking in terms of your own actions.
“I do the housework when it’s my turn.” “I stay in a job I hate.” “I say ‘I love you’.” “I’m coming to couples counseling!” “I bite my tongue.”
3. IF YOUR COUPLES SESSIONS ARE WILDLY SUCCESSFUL, WHAT WILL BE HAPPENING?
“I’ll smile more.” “We’ll fight less.” “We’ll talk about my day, too!” “We’ll have more couple time- date nights.”
If you can envision the kind of couple you want to be, you can work on the steps to get there!