How to Suggest Marriage Counseling to Parents
You want your parents to deal with their marital issues in a healthy, productive manner by seeking the help of a marriage counselor, but suggesting this idea without offending them or creating controversy can be tricky.
There are ways to suggest marriage counseling to your parents in a manner that will make them seriously consider seeking help for the sake of the family.
5 Steps to Suggest Marriage Counseling to Parents
1. Schedule a time to sit down and talk with both of your parents in a quiet setting.
Tell them that it’s important for them to be there and to listen to you. If you have siblings, ask them to come as well to support you and to give their input.
2. Explain to your parents how difficult it has been for you and your siblings to have to watch them fight and to be put in the middle of their marital problems.
Make it clear to them that their marital issues are negatively affecting your life and the lives of your siblings.
3. Tell them that you want the best for them and for their marriage so that you can become a healthier, happier family.
4. Ask them to seek marriage counseling to improve their personal lives, their marriage and the lives of their children.
5. Encourage a healthy, open dialogue on the subject once you’ve thoroughly explained your reasons for wanting them to see a marriage counselor.
Listen to their opinions and reactions.
Tips and Warnings
- Remember that it is not your job to fix your parents’ marital problems. If your parents frequently put you or your siblings in the middle of their problems, remind your parents during your discussion that you cannot be their therapist and that they need to seek professional therapy because you and your siblings will no longer be filling that role.
- If they aren’t willing to see a marriage counselor at first, ask them to come to a family counseling session with you and your siblings. This will get the ball rolling and will encourage them to continue to seek help after experiencing the positive effects of counseling on family relationships.
- Don’t be hostile or judgmental. It is understandable for you to be angry at your parents, but asking them to seek counseling in an argumentative tone is more likely to provoke a fight than to produce a favorable outcome.
- Don’t guilt them. The purpose of telling your parents that their problems are affecting your life isn’t to make them feel guilty, but rather to make them understand the impact that their marital problems have on their family and to urge them to get help.
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