When I saw this title, which came from a search for my counseling services, I thought it was brilliant. I couldn’t have said it better. I’ve never thought to Google things that specifically, but I liked it, and I decided to convert it into a blog post today.
So, how do you convince your husband to get counseling? I mean, guys are typically uninterested in counseling, or self-growth, or any of that gobbledy-gook.
Obviously, the best answer (and biggest plug) I could say is to bring them into a counselor for me, ahem, yours truly. As a counselor for guys, I know how guys tick, and I know that a lot of men do say that they feel intimidated by female couples counselors. They think that these therapists will malign against them, and their fears of a man-hating fest will come true. No so, but I understand the fear. Bring them into someone that gets them, and understands both the psychology of your guy, and how he operates within a relationship.
When communicating with your guy about seeking counseling, don’t try these things, ladies: shaming him, analyzing him, controlling him, crying, threatening to leave him or the relationship/marriage, parenting him, making him feel bad, prodding him over and over to go to counseling (parenting), the same way you might to get him to help with the chores or picking up the kids from day care.
Here’s what I think would work: taking special time to sit down with him, and speak from your heart. Say, “You know, I’m really concerned about some things that have come up for me in our marriage, and I don’t think that I/we can do them on their own. I’m feeling frustrated and helpless, and our marriage – and you – mean so much to me, that I’d like to talk with you about your thoughts about going in together to talk with a counselor about how to help fix our relationship.”
Guys respond well to the concept of “the fix”, because that’s how our minds work anyways, and by taking ownership for your feelings (and that you contribute to the conflict in your relationship), he will know that you’re serious and open to taking a look not just at the problems, but your role in shaping those problems. It will make him more likely to do the same, in taking a look at his role in creating those problems.
As long as the guy is the “identified patient”, as we say in the field, as is the “source of all suffering” in the marriage, his scapegoat status will affect his ability to come in for counseling and be on the same page as you. I see this dynamic all the time, and if this is true for you and your partner, watch the tendency to scapegoat the other while not taking personal responsibility for what you help to create that’s problematic.