This is likely one of the hardest, most avoided and unaccepted, yet most important parts of this whole series.
We all need help from time to time. Maybe your partner had asked you in the past to go to counseling, or maybe some kind of marriage encounter, or some other kind of togetherness therapy.
All Posts in this Series:
- I Love You but I’m Not In Love With You, Meaning and Advice
- It’s Normal for Your Heart to be Afraid, but fighting for the Past Will Mean the End, So Start Accepting Your New Beginning
- What do I do with this Broken Heart? Avoid Requests for Space and Use Your Head to Think about what You Want
- Once Upon a Time We were Happy, and Suddenly it’s Over? The Heart Heals Slowly, don’t Fear the Future
- Intentions do not Win Hearts, Actions are the Secret, How to Start Connecting Today for a Happier Tomorrow
- Say Yes to Everything and Reveal the Secret of the Heart
- Learn to Speak the Language of the Heart
- Become a Sex Master and Learn How to Heal the Heart with the Body
- It’s Time to Get Some Help, Starting Today ⇐ You are Here
- Rekindling the Flame Can Sometimes Burn Too Hot, Use Caution While Reconnecting
- Some Words about Physical, Sexual, Verbal and Emotional Abuse
Maybe you declined, maybe you did so in a condescending way. Maybe you just laughed, or you were outraged. Regardless, I’ll bet you wished you had agreed to go now!
I know, too little too late. I was in your shoes too. The irony of course is that when you try to suggest this now, you are likely to be the one shot down, or laughed at. It’s possible, even likely, that your partner will simply tell you that they don’t see how it will help.
That’s because, as I’ve indicated before, they’re mind is made up, they’re way past that line of thinking now. In fact, they’ve likely started planning out their life and how it’ll look without you!
That’s a fundamental problem in life; all too often partners are not in the same place emotionally and mentally to want the same thing at the same time. If your relationship is healthy this isn’t as much of a concern, because the one that “isn’t ready” is willing to go through with the measures because they love the other.
In your present situation, this is not true.
At this point, you’re emotionally raw, your chest aches, you can’t think straight, your emotions are in turmoil, you’re likely having problems sleeping, your situation is constantly on your mind, you are in a chaotic free-fall.
You need help, whether you want to admit it or not.
You need to go out and find a good counselor, ideally a marriage counselor with experience.
You are going to want to interview several of them and ask them questions. One of the questions you should ask is: Have you ever recommended divorce?
Any counselor that has been doing this for a while has likely been in a position where divorce was the only solution. Sadly, there are legitimate times where there can be no reconciliation.
Assuming they respond with a short answer and don’t immediately volunteer the information, the next question should be: When do you feel that divorce is warranted?
Their answer should be something to the effect of:
- When there is rampant abuse or physical abuse
- When one or both parties refuse to reconcile even after prolonged counseling sessions
- If the children are being harmed due to “being caught in the middle”
- Essentially, any answer that frames divorce as an absolute last resort
There are likely to be times, assuming you and your partner are both going to sessions that your counselor is going to spend time with each of you alone.
You want a counselor that is going to be looking at both your best interests. They need to be impartial and invested in a positive outcome.
I guarantee you will not like everything that a counselor says to you, or your partner. They are going to dig, and they’re going to be provocative at times.
Since you are the one that wants to reconcile, they are likely going to fame things negatively toward you. This is by design. They are attempting to get your partner to open up, possibly even getting them to defend you. Sometimes they have to represent you as the “common enemy” so that your partner will consider opening up. They’re using evolutionary tactics to bring out the primitive instincts in your mate, it’s ok…take it on the chin.
Make sure you summarize your situation and inform your chosen counselor that it’s possible that you won’t be able to convince your partner to come at first. They need to be ok with that, and the good ones will work with you to help you, and coach you on what to say, and how to get your partner to come later.
You can choose to approach your lover prior to doing the research, or you can do it yourself. If you can get them to agree to see a counselor, then researching together could be an excellent exercise between you.
If your partner is against the idea, you need to choose one on your own, and set an appointment, ideally when your partner will be able to go.
Once your appointment is set, inform your partner that you’ve set up a session with a counselor and it would mean the world to you if they would go. If they refuse, don’t get mad, don’t even make more than a token effort to convince them.
When it’s time for your appointment, go and let them know that you’re leaving. I mean, don’t make a big thing about it, just tell them that you’re going to see your chosen counselor, and that you’ll be back later.
While at your session, talk to the counselor and listen to what they have to say. Be completely open and honest with them, even if you’re embarrassed.
Believe me, just talking to someone that knows what you are going through and can give you good proactive advice and guide you will help you begin to cope with your situation.
Your counselor may come to the conclusion that one of the reasons you are struggling is due to something in you. If that happens they may recommend a specialist. Follow their advice, it’s what you’re paying them for.
Another approach is to look for a marriage coach.
A marriage counselor is often covered by insurance, a marriage coach typically is not. If you can afford both, then do both.
The main difference between a counselor and a coach is that a counselor is trying to help the two of you reconcile your differences, a coach is typically working with only you, the one that’s trying to reconcile the relationship.
That’s not to say that a coach won’t work with both of you, but a coach is helping you to cope with your situation and work through strategies that will help you reach your partner and open lines of communication.
A coach will often tell you exactly what you should say, and will potentially even work through a script, and give you various options to respond with depending on how the conversation is going.
In some cases, they will work with both of you once the lines of communication have been established acting almost like a referee, and this is where the lines begin to blur between a coach and a counselor.
Once communication has been established and the two of you are beginning to move toward a common goal, this is also where a coach will tend to become less helpful and a counselor will really be a great asset to your continued progress.
Regardless, I do not advise you to continue on your own, you need to find a counselor. You need someone to talk to, to help you deal with the tidal wave of emotions you’re dealing with.
Go to the next step in your journey: Rekindling the Flames of Love is Cool but that Fire Can Sometimes Burn Too Hot, be Careful While Reconnecting