How to Suggest Marriage Counseling to Your Partner Without Freaking Them Out

Wondering how to bring up couples therapy to your partner? Suggesting relationship therapy or marriage counseling to your partner without freaking them out can be challenging if you don’t approach the subject carefully. Just bringing up the subject of counseling can make a defensive partner think you’re implying that something is wrong with the marriage. It could also make your spouse or partner feel like you are a problem or he/she is ready to leave the relationship. There is also the fear that going to couples counseling might exacerbate an already bad situation or stir up the pot.

That’s why it is important to learn how to bring up the subject of counseling to your partner without freaking them out. We’re so proud of you for taking the first steps toward a healthier relationship, and we want to help it go smoothly.

Need some more inspiration about creating a happier marriage?

1. Find a Good Time to Talk
The first thing you must do before any conversation is to make sure it is a good time to talk. This will dramatically decrease potential reactivity as you are making sure your spouse has a moment to prepare before hearing something that might be difficult. It will give him/her a chance to prepare, and hopefully to listen attentively.
2. Focus Reasoning for Counseling on Yourself
Once you find the right time, focus on yourself. If you make your spouse feel on the defensive, like he/she is the problem, then they’ll freak out and go into fear mode. Share an appreciation with your spouse and you can also say that I would like to be a better spouse and I know I am not always the easiest person to live with and I thought it might make our relationship even better if we worked on our relationship together with a professional.

Coming from a positive, growth-oriented perspective and emphasizing this as an opportunity for you to be better as opposed to implying fault in your spouse, is a more effective approach.

3. Invite Your Partner to Contact the Counselor & Research Them
Offer to let your spouse read about the counselor and even schedule a time to speak over the phone. I always assure couples interested in our marriage retreats with intensive therapy that we focus on the couple as a whole, don’t take sides, and our main goal is to create safe connection. That means the fears that people have regarding typical marriage counseling are non-issues in our program.

The retreat format also helps allay any fears of counseling being drawn out over the course of weeks and years as it allows for a more time efficient approach. The retreat is also appealing because it can be seen as a get-away to recharge the relationship as opposed to weekly marriage counseling sessions. Talk with us today about our 2 Day Intensive Marriage Retreats, or our more affordable 2 Day Couples Retreat/Marriage Workshop for those on a tight budget.



There’s nothing quite like the power of gaining clarity on a confusing situation. Complete the form below to talk with Rabbi Slatkin to see what he thinks would be best for you and your unique situation.

    You will receive our free 60 Second Plan to a Happy Marriage, along with transformational emails that will help you with your marriage.

There's nothing like the power of gaining clarity on a difficult situation.Schedule a FREE Relationship Clarity session with Rabbi Shlomo.
Schedule Now