Thursday June 28 2018

Tips to get your spouse to marriage counselling

Generally, marriage and relationship

Generally, marriage and relationship researchers suggest that the goal of couple therapy should be to change the patterns of interaction, emotional connection, and communication between the couple. NET PHOTO 

By Christine Katende

A time comes when you feel that your marriage is at stake and you need someone else to intervene but your partner does not seem to understand your concerns. In most cases, men do not like to be told what to do. They normally feel that marriage problems can be solved without bringing in a third party.

Last week, Daniellah shared her story in our marrieds’ group. She said: “We have been married happily for eight years but he has changed. He stopped appreciating my efforts towards anything, be it contribution towards development.

Paul (husband) calls me names whenever we argue and he nolonger gives me time like he used to.” Towards the end of the message, she pointed out the fact that she has tried talking to him but in vain. “I have suggested that we seek guidance from a marriage counsellor but he says there is nothing new they are going to tell him and I only want to disgrace him. ”

Be gentle
According to relationshipjourney.com, an online portal, one of the main keys when talking to your husband about seeking counselling is to listen and listen without interrupting or arguing as this will give you positive results. But Evelyn Kharono, a relationship coach says though it is normal to have fights as a couple, it can also be a sign of an impending problem to the relationship especially if the fights are so frequent to the extent that the couple stops listening to each other.

With such fights and arguments, the expert says it is important to solve one challenge at a time than waiting for them to pile.
Jonathan Okiru, a counselling psychologist, says: “Fighting is normal in any healthy relationship but the bigger question is, ‘how do you fight?”

The need for therapy
Kharono notes that if a couple has failed to sit and listen to one another, it is good to get a third party who will be neutral and non-judgmental to help them see the cause of their frequent fights than just looking at each other as the cause. Amidst the fight or misunderstanding, Okiru reveals it is important for the couple to know that they still belong to the same “team” where their likes and goals are for the better. “Allow your partner to understand the above and do not make the decision individually, make sure he or she understands the reasons for therapy and this should all point towards making the relationship or marriage work,” he clarifies.

Although most men refuse to go for counselling, maybe for fear of being blamed for everything wrong in the marriage or relationship, Kharono asserts that seeking therapy only gives hope to the relationship. “Usually when couples go for counselling, it shows that there is hope for mending the relationship and that one of the individuals in the relationship has realised how much they need help,” Kharono confirms.

However during the sessions, the expert says the language used should be “we need help together” so that it does not sound as though it is only one partner who needs help. “Seeking help is a sign of strength and not weakness, to that, you have to communicate positively to avoid stigmatising each other to join therapy,” reminds Kharono.

Choose appropriate time
Choosing an appropriate time is another thing most therapists point out. “Find a time when you are both calm or the other partner may not listen to you,” Kharono cites. “Time is important,” confirms Okiru. To him, there is no need to hurry the process but rather let the process be natural. Okuri gives an option of having more than one therapist and let your spouse make a choice so that the result after the session are owned for positive change,” he advices.

But as you convince your partner, the psychologist cautions: “Do not let your emotions take over. Smile and let your partner read love and care from your eyes. You know truth is found in the eyes.” Okiru concludes by saying that partners should pray. “Pray for your partner because prayer opens doors and changes a person’s heart,” he says.

How counselling helps
To help create a more realistic picture of who each partner really is rather than who the other partner wants him or her to be. This can go a long way in settling misunderstandings and avoiding miscommunications. It is certainly a lot easier to find common ground if the spouses are aware of and respect each other’s desires and motivations.

Marriage counselling also offers couples a way to stay accountable to each other. Learning new tools will only help if these tools are put into practice and take the place of previous, unhealthy habits. Counsellors will often assign homework to the couple in an effort to create patterns that stand the test of time.

How would you convince your spouse to go for counselling??
“I would give her money for shopping, surprise her with one of the best gifts and organise a candlelit dinner during which I would bring up the idea of therapy.” Leo Omollo, married
“I would look up to ways of renewing the relationship such as giving him space to rethink. To me, therapy may not be justified.” Lillian Namulondo, married

ckatende@ug.nationmedia.com

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