Have you ever thought about asking your spouse to talk to someone, to see a marriage coach, counselor, or pastor?
It can be scary. The fear of rejection can be enough to push us into a state of denial; if that is not enough to hush us, the idea of emotional vulnerability and financial costs can silence us indefinitely.
But your relationship is worth it. Your happiness is worth it.
Sometimes couples are never willing to receive help at the same time.
For example, you may have suggested counseling in February but your spouse wasn’t willing until September. By September, you feel done.
Maybe you responded by saying, “You want counseling now? I suggested it months ago. Now, I’m done. You missed the opportunity.”
Although stubbornness is a common response, your marriage is at stake. Sometimes people walk away from their marriage thinking it would be impossible to be happy with this person again. However, we are often poor predictors of our future emotions. We may not think it is possible to feel differently than we do now, but what if it is possible?
Sometimes couples have a very small amount of overlapping time when both are willing to receive marriage help. If this is you, what can be done?
Do your best to stay open to receiving help. When you ask your partner to get help, be sure to have a calm yet assertive tone.
Start the conversation by letting them know you love them and want the relationship to last. State the issues that you know are areas where you need to improve first. Then, if necessary, ask for your partner to consider working on areas where you have unmet needs.
This last image represents couples who have the most hope for their relational success. Both individuals are open toward receiving help at the same time. Though we cannot control our spouse, it only takes one person to increase the amount of overlapping space where change is possible.
You do hard things.
Till death do us part is a pretty big deal. Every relationship that makes it has overcome some pretty big hurdles. You can, too.
Which image best reflects your relationship?