Coaching that is good enough so he will play

relationship counsellingSo just to recap, men are more likely to respond to an invitation to marriage or relationship counselling when it is described in terms of marriage coaching. Men will also behave differently if they know that they will not be shamed for sharing their vulnerability. You can go to the last three posts, here, here and here

Your partner is more likely to avoid the counselling room if it looks like he is the one responsible for all the trouble you are both experiencing. Here are a couple of ways you can encourage him to consider the option of seeing a relationship coach. Remind him that with most things nothing is permanent. If the experience of sitting down and talking to a relationship coach or counsellor doesn’t work after a couple of tries then you can try something else, or someone else.

The truth is that the more the situation presents as unknowable the more likely we are to want to control it. In this instance, it is a good idea to give him some options so he feels that he has a reasonable amount of control over what is happening. You can start by giving him a list of counsellors in the area and ones that have been recommended by others. Ask if he would feel more comfortable with a male or female counsellor.

You can sell the idea of couples counselling a number of ways including changing the wording. For example, suggest that you go to coaching to get ‘match fit’. Suggest that the relationship could do with a tune up. Try a ‘relationship management class, or engaging with a relationship coach. Some of these descriptors will roll off his tongue lightly and come across nice and easy to the ears of his friends and family. Remember it is the relationship that you are both trying to fix, not him.

You might ask him what he wants to see changed. You may have a very different parenting style than him and he wants it discussed. You can tell him that counselling provides that opportunity to discuss it openly and without argument. You can appeal to his sense of commitment to his kids and suggest that working things out in counselling will help eliminate the fighting between you.

At this stage do not threaten to leave unless it is crucial. Threats can have the reverse effect on the relationship and derail any attempts to get to counselling. And as research has shown, the man’s attitude and action can weigh heavily on the success or failure of the relationship. Think about that…