Do Your Kids Say You Need Couples Therapy? - Pt 2
Mar 27, 2019
Welcome back to the second half of our two-part article on a complex family issue. What do you do if one of your children suggests you need couple's therapy with your spouse? Even if this was said as a joke, it can reveal real concerns about your happiness or home stability. Last time we talked about where kids get these ideas and why they make the suggestion. Today, we'll pick up talking about how to address your child's concerns and move forward in a positive way.
Rather than worrying about where your child heard about couple's therapy, let this be an inspiration to examine your own behavior and your interactions with your partner. Have you been irritable or distant? How often do you fight in front of the kids? Or is there just a stony uncomfortable silence at the dinner table? Even if you have tried to be careful about keeping your disputes out of sight, it's possible your child has overheard fights in another room or their simple empathy has told them something is wrong.
Talk to Your Child
Once you have done a little soul-searching, talk to your child about why they think you should be in couple's therapy and what they think could be gained from it. This is your chance to hear them out on their worries about your relationship. Be gentle and don't push if the child doesn't want to say too much. They may be afraid to hurt your feelings or they might not have that much information to go on, just a hunch that there is something wrong and the desire to see a solution.
Talk to Your Partner
Next, have a quiet talk with your partner about how your relationship together has been going lately. Be the first to open up and be honest about any faults or mistakes you may have displayed in the recent past and the simple fact that your child has noticed the strife or distance. Hopefully, your partner will be open to at least starting the conversation about the troubles in your relationship and your shared concern as parents will help you work together to get better.
Give Their Suggestion a Try
Finally, seriously consider couple's therapy. Not only could this be the solution you and your partner need to bridge the gap or heal any wounds, it will also show your child that their ideas are valued. Even one session with a couple's therapist makes it clear that your child plays an important role in the family and that you and your partner are ready to try to make things better. If you're ready to give couple's therapy a shot for the benefit of your child and family unity, contact me today.