When your relationship is struggling but your spouse doesn’t want to attend counselling, you can do what’s called “relating counselling” on your own.
Relating counselling can help change how you relate, and by doing something different and more effective, you force a change in your partner’s way of relating.
Relate Counsellors help you control your half of the relationship
Your relationship is a dynamic system, which both of you can influence and you have 100% control over your half of the relationship.
Being the lone client is in no way an admission that you alone are the problem— even if your partner insists that you are. No matter what you have done or what difficulties you’re facing, your marital struggles cannot be just about you. Seeking help on your own simply means that you’re willing to make the first steps towards change.
Sometimes the best way to change your spouse is to model positive change in your own life. You can encourage your spouse to communicate better by learning to communicate better yourself. You can coach your spouse to respect you by learning to impose and maintain boundaries and by respecting him or her as well.
This is often more effective than trying to force someone to attend counselling.
Often when a partner commences counselling, the other will often become curious and want to get involved too.
Get to know yourself better with relate counselling
Relating counselling can help you to get to know yourself and look at your own attitudes, memories, behaviors, expectations, hopes, concerns and fears, not only in the marriage but also as an individual. This process can prevent you feeling depressed or helpless but it can also go a long way in helping you to understand your role in the conflict in your marriage and to clarify your plans for your future.
Relating counselling also can involve a reevaluation of your priorities, both as a partner and an individual. It can lead you to consider which of your spouse’s negative behaviors you can live with and which ones are impossible to accept. You will reflect if the current situation represents a temporary crisis or a really impasse in your relationship.
The therapist may ask you to consider “what is the best and worst thing that could happen if you decide to divorce” and “what is the best and worst thing that could happen if you decide to stay together”. These questions may help to make things a little clearer.
If you’d like to learn more about Side by Side’s relate counselling services, please call or email us. We’re happy to answer your questions or discuss your concerns.