How To Convince Your Partner To Go To Premarital Counseling
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You may think that premarital life will always be full of love and happiness. After all, you just got engaged to the love of your life. What can go wrong?
Well, even though premarital life should certainly make you feel loved and happy, it is not always as perfect as the movies make it seem. The truth is, it is normal for couples to have disagreements, especially while making stressful decisions for the wedding.
However, there may be issues that you wish to “nip in the bud” before starting your married life. Maybe your partner has a bad habit of giving the silent treatment when mad, or you find that you project your own insecurities in arguments.
Perhaps this has led you to the conclusion that premarital counseling would be helpful for you and your fiancé to maintain a happy and healthy marriage. Except, what if your partner is not on the same page?
Here are 6 tips on how to convince your partner to go to premarital counseling with you!
1. Communicate your reasons for counseling. The reason behind your desire to go to premarital counseling is for you and your fiancé to learn healthy habits to maintain a healthy marriage. You want to build a solid foundation for your marriage built on trust and communication. For them to understand this, you have to communicate your reasons for wanting to start premarital counseling. If this is not communicated, they may feel confused or offended by your sudden want for counseling.
A simple script you can follow to start the conversation about premarital counseling is:
– “I’d like to have a conversation with you about what you want for our relationship.”
– “I want you to feel completely comfortable and loved in this relationship. That’s why I want us to communicate our needs.”
– “Is now a good time to talk?”
2. Do not blame your partner. Telling your partner that you both need to go to counseling because of them does not help convince them. Just because they have a few flaws that affect the relationship doesn’t mean you don’t. Remember, a relationship takes two people to function. Chances are if your partner has some issues to work on, so do you. Be honest with yourself and don’t be afraid to admit to your partner that you also have work to do! Even if your partner gets defensive about the idea of therapy, refrain from getting defensive yourself. Getting defensive back will only exacerbate the communication and turn it into an argument.
– A little therapy freebie here: Try using “I” statements like: “I feel overwhelmed and defensive when we fight and I need a chance to calm down before we continue our conversations.”
3. Choose a counselor together. You or your partner may be tempted to let the other choose whichever counselor they want independently. This could be because they want to make sure you are happy with the choice and not compromising for them, or because they don’t wish to be involved due to resentment for the decision in general. Making choosing a premarital counselor an activity you do together will make it seem less like they are being forced to attend something they had no voice in choosing. Make sure you are both comfortable with the counselor’s style and fees before making an appointment. Set up consultation calls with potential therapists to find a good fit.
4. Move past the counseling stigma. A lot of people still think that if you have to attend premarital counseling, it must mean your marriage is falling apart before it even starts. This couldn’t be farther from the truth. In fact, research has shown that premarital counseling has huge benefits whether or not the relationship had problems at the start of counseling. Think of premarital counseling as a means of maintaining healthy habits and strengthening your relationship. Who wouldn’t want to participate in that?
5. Focus on the positives. Your partner may be having trouble accepting the idea of premarital counseling because they are imagining that counseling will only cause more fighting and separation between you two. Although premarital counseling will definitely require you both to speak on the issues in your relationship, remind your partner of all the positives that will come from this. Working through issues in session means that you both will learn how to healthily communicate with one another outside of session. This means more quality time together with less bickering and silly arguments.
6. Set clear and realistic goals. You will most likely do this during the first few meetings with your counselor anyways, but it doesn’t hurt to get a jump start. Sit down with your partner and have a conversation about what your goals are for counseling.
- Do you want to learn how to communicate with each other better?
- Split up chores more evenly?
- Open up about feelings more often?
- Manage your finances together?
- Establish relationship roles?
- Learn conflict resolution?
These are all things you can learn about in sessions, but they should be clear goals both you and your partner agree on!
Remember that above all, you and your partner love each other. Part of love is wanting to do what is best for the other person and having those hard conversations. Think of premarital counseling as a way to show you love and care about each other enough to want to improve things for the better. By using these tips, your partner will without a doubt feel better about the idea.
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