Marriage counseling has saved hundreds of thousands of relationships from collapse. But not every couple is in the right place to find success. Here are the most common reasons not to go to couples counseling.
6 Reasons Not to Go To Couples Therapy
1. You haven't discussed couples counseling with your partner.
The decision to go to counseling should be made by both partners. To schedule a surprise appointment and drag your partner into the session without talking about it first would be a mistake.
Be prepared to answer questions your partner might have, such as the cost and time commitment. Think carefully about the right way to bring up the topic of marriage counseling so that your partner doesn't feel blindsided.
2. You are unwilling to go all in.
Of all the reasons not to go to couples therapy, this is a big one.
When considering whether or not couples counseling would be helpful to your relationship, have an honest conversation with yourself. Are you actually willing to work things out?
The real work happens after the sessions with your counselor. It takes emotional labor to lean in and hear your partner’s honest feelings and to accept when change is needed.
You must be prepared to accept that things need to change in order to move forward. If you aren’t willing to do the work, counseling will likely be unsuccessful.
For many people, the hesitancy for couples therapy comes down to the fear of honesty - what if I hear or say something hurtful? What if couples counseling just makes things worse?
A good therapist will talk openly about these fears and guide you through the communication process in a way that puts your fears at ease.
Remember that things do not magically get resolved in just a few sessions. Just be sure that you are actually willing to commit to what it takes before investing your time and money.
3. You just want to complain.
Sitting around with your friends and venting is very different from having a conversation with your therapist. While you may be tempted to spill all of the complaints you’ve bottled up since the last session, couples counseling is not a place to unleash anger or nitpick your partner.
Therapy is not a place to tear each other down. Counseling sessions are a place not only to speak up, but also a place to listen.
Each session should start with the positive mindset that each of you is there to support each other. Instead of stewing over the little things that irritate you, be solution-oriented.
Come to your session ready to state the problem and offer solutions that will improve the quality of the relationship for both of you. When your partner begins to express a desire for change, actively listen.
Active listening is an act that will quickly build healthy communication habits and repair trust. Even if you don’t like something your partner says, be sure to fully hear them out first and validate their feelings before responding.
4. You aren’t ready to share your secret.
One of the biggest reasons not to go to couples counseling is that you're not prepared for full honesty. Infidelity and financial troubles are often the reason why someone keeps a secret from their partner. If you aren't willing to come clean, marriage counseling won't help.
The number one goal of couples counseling is to create a space for mutual understanding and openness. The right therapist will help you figure out a plan for expressing your secret if you're ready to open up.
5. You want the counselor to do all the work.
Tasking the counselor with having all the answers is an unrealistic expectation. Your counselor is there to help you uncover the reality that you have the power to repair your relationship.
A therapist can help you recognize the root of relationship killers like maladaptive interaction styles and fizzling connections. But you must both be willing to accept change. This includes working on changing your own patterns and behaviors.
Consider what you can do to promote positive outcomes during and between sessions. If you are working on being more honest with your partner about your needs, challenge yourself to speak up the next time the opportunity presents itself. If you are working on making your partner feel more valued in the relationship, proactively plan ways to do this.
6. You want things to stay the way they are.
Both partners have to be open to the possibility of significant changes. Change can be difficult, especially when you’re being asked to change something about your own habits and behaviors.
Be willing to take ownership of your responsibilities in creating meaningful progress throughout the couples counseling process. While it can be scary, change can ultimately lead you towards resolving significant problems in the relationship.
A good couples counselor will help you and your partner create small, achievable goals that you can master over time. Eventually, the larger changes that once seemed daunting will feel within reach. Be open to allowing your relationship to evolve throughout the couples counseling process.
Be sure to find a counselor that is right for your specific situation. Finding a specialized couples counselor near you can take time, and you want to make sure the counselor you choose is someone you both agree upon.
Could your marriage use professional guidance? Couples counseling uses a research-based approach to improve communication and trust in your marriage.
Ready to take the first step? Find out if couples counseling can improve your marriage.
Call 833-934-3573 for your free, no-obligation consultation or Book an Appointment.