Ultimately, I think, if you feel it’s crucial for your partner to go get therapy, you’ve first got to ask yourself, “why is this so important to me?”
I assume it’s because you:
- care about your significant other
- want them to be happy
- hope to improve your relationship (e.g., get unstuck, communicate better, etc.)
Because aren’t we — as individuals dedicated to personal growth (I mean, that’s why you’re here, isn’t it?) — quick to think that we are the ones perfect in our relationships?
We tend to have this self-centered bias.
Like, are you 100% certain that you are the one who’s into personal growth — while your husband is not?
Anyway, I just wanted to make sure you established why it’s important to get your romantic partner on that therapist’s couch before I got into:
How To Get Your Partner To Go To Therapy
When you say things to your partner, like…
“You know, I’m listening to podcasts, I’m taking this course, I’m going to therapy.”
…what you’re really doing is pushing them away. And, to be honest, simply thinking those things will just build up resentment (in you) toward them. Nobody walks away feeling amazing when one person is always talking about the steps they’re taking to better themselves.
But how would it feel, if instead, you said,
“You know what? I’m really trying to be a better partner for you. I know I need to grow, work on my character, my past traumas, listening skills, dig deeper into my faith. Because yeah, I know I can be a better partner for you.”
If you say those words, now you’re making the issue about you, and they may eventually follow your lead!
You’ve softened them by basically illustrating that you want to improve the relationship by improving yourself.
And leading by example in that way is just a wonderful opportunity to invite your partner to do the same.
Personal anecdote: Here’s a very specific example that worked for Bret and me. I’m not saying it’ll work for you, but I’m hoping it’ll prove instructive to share.
Once upon a time, during our most difficult marriage chapter, I told Bret,
“My therapist thinks it would be really helpful if you could come to session with me, ’cause it would help you to understand some of the things I’m working on to try to be a better wife.”
As opposed to me saying,
“Hey, my therapist thinks that you’re part of the problem” or, “Hey, I’m going to therapy, and my therapist thinks you need to come with me to talk to her.”
Because that would feel like the two of us are going to gang up on him!
It’s all in how you present it.
For much more related to this topic, like why:
- it’s important to consider why someone you love might want to stay stuck
- hurt people have a difficult time moving forward
- people don’t change
Then, make sure to listen to The Chalene Show episode below:
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