Sometimes people in a relationship find it difficult to communicate with each other. Let’s focus on people in a dating relationship and married couples. They recognize that there is a breakdown in communication but they are not sure what to do about it. When there is a lot of conflict, they know that they are in a negative cycle of repeating patterns of behavior but can’t break the cycle. They feel stuck and that puts stress on the individual and the relationship.

It can take years before people in an unhappy relationship ask for help. According to Relationship and Marriage Expert, Dr. John Gottman, couples wait an average of six years being unhappily married before they seek help. That is six years of unhappiness and resentment. What about the relationship between an adult child and parent or the relationship between adult siblings. How long do they stay in a pattern of negativity? A Relationship Expert can help by providing you with ways to break the negative pattern and turn it into a positive pattern of communication. Relationship counseling would be an excellent first step to mend differences and restore the connection.

As stated by Wikipedia, “Relationship counseling is the process of counseling the parties of a human relationship in an effort to recognize, and to better manage or reconcile, troublesome differences and repeating patterns of stress upon the relationship.”

As a Relationship Expert with over a decade of experience working with people and their relationships, I know that sometimes people are resistant to counseling. There are many reasons for their resistance. They might not see a problem with the relationship, they might not want to put forth the effort to make the changes, they might see the problem but don’t know what to do about it. These are just some reasons and there might be other reasons. So what do you do if you are the one who sees the problem and recognizes that the relationship could benefit from changing in a more positive direction?  How do you approach the topic of counseling with other person?

Ways to Approach Counseling to Your Spouse/Parent/Sibling

  1. The first step is to talk to your spouse/parent/sibling and tell them you have something important you want to talk about. Make sure you ask, “Is this a good time to talk?”. That way you know that you will have their focus and you will have a chance to say what you want to say. If it is not a good time, then set up a time that works for both of you.
  2. When you start talking, begin with how important they are to you and how much the relationships means to you. Share with them an example or two of the positive things about your relationship. Then share some things are bothering you and that you would like to see change so the relationship could be stronger and happier.
  3. It is important to not point fingers and that you recognize a relationship takes two people not just one person. Try coming from a vulnerable place and explain that it is about figuring out what you both can do to make things different. Assuring the other person that this is not going to be a “blame game” but an opportunity to make the relationship better will yield a more positive result.
  4. Explain how going to a Relationship Expert who is trained in communication and conflict resolution will give you the chance to walk away with tips and techniques that will help you feel connected and valued. The new tools and skills that you learn will improve your relationship.
  5. Suggest you find a therapist together and talk about what would be important to each of you about the therapist. For example, their training, specialties, location, etc… OR you can research therapists before the conversation and offer some suggestions of names.
  6. If after your conversation they have concerns, take time to listen to their concerns. Don’t interrupt or minimize their feelings but be curious about the reason they are hesitant.
  7. If they continue to be hesitant and resistant, see if you can get them to commit to one session as a “trial” to see if it would be helpful and if it would be something that they would like to continue.
  8. It is important to recognize that a Relationship Expert will give you both a new perspective on your relationship. While doing this, the therapist is an objective third party who does not side with either individual. Instead the therapist will focus on strengths of the relationship while neutralizing blame from either party. The benefits will be that as spouses/parent and adult child/adult siblings you will effectively face your concerns and be inspired to communicate in a new way.

As a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, I am trained to work with all types of relationships. If you live in Plantation, Davie, Sunrise, Weston, or any of the nearby areas, I am the Relationship Expert that can help you break down the walls, stop walking on eggs shells and have the relationship you always dreamed of having with your spouse/parent/adult child/sibling.  Let’s join together so we can collaborate and get your relationship in a stronger, happier place. Give me a call today, so we can get started.

Your Relationship Expert,
Michelle