I’m happy to share my Q & A post, in which I respond to a real question about relationships. If you have a question you’d like me to answer, feel free to send me a private message.
Q – I really feel like my partner and I could benefit from relationship coaching, but he’s very skeptical and says we should just invest the money we’d spend doing couples counseling on date nights. I don’t think that’s enough. We have some issues that have been surfacing and resurfacing in our relationship for years and I think we could use the guidance and support of a professional. How do you advise me to approach this with him?
A – Thanks for your question – you are not alone as someone who wants to seek professional help for your relationship while your partner seems to be skeptical.
I encourage couples to start any conversation by listening closely to what the other person is REALLY communicating. So before we float ideas of how to bring your partner to coaching – I’d like you to explore WHY he may be hesitant. Consider the questions below and start a conversation with him that is curious and open. You may be surprised to see where it goes.
- Does he worry about the stigma of ‘couples who go to counseling’? Is he embarrassed?
- Does he feel that your relationship issues are too personal to share with an outsider?
- Is he wary of mental health professionals in general?
- Does he generally prefer a (‘quick fix’ ) problem-solving approach rather than a more process-oriented one?
- Does he avoid talking about feelings or believe it’s a waste of time?
- Does he come from a family that doesn’t talk about feelings?
- Is he afraid of being blamed for the issues in your relationship, and maybe worries that you and a counselor/coach could gang up on him?
- Does he believe that basically things are ‘fine’ in your relationship and what’s missing is time together on a few fun (well-funded) date nights?
I believe that this conversation with your partner will open up your communication and your understanding of one another.