"Are you both all in?" Yes, that’s the way I begin a couples counseling session. Truth is if both individuals aren’t on the same page with regards to their relationship, counseling doesn’t work.
It’s not the counselor or therapist that’s “bad”, it’s that the couple hasn’t made the commitment together. So, here’s how to begin before you begin your relationship healing.
How committed are to improving your relationship? Rate it from 1-5.
Research Communications Styles. How do you and your partner engage with each other?
Is one of you Aggressive? Passive? Passive-Aggressive? Get to know and be honest about how you relate.
Discuss ways you can you stop an unproductive dialogue without falling into one of the negative communication styles.
Take time-outs! One or both of you can walk away from defensive, angry communications and do so in a loving, compassionate way. Yes, I mean that. You can learn to do this with practice.
The key to better relationships is always communication. Learning new ways of to share your feelings takes time and understanding. Rather than accuse, reprimand, get defensive and angry, ask your partner questions about what he/she is feeling. Choose to end the conversation and come back to it at another time. Make sure you give each other a time for continuing your interactions. There’s nothing worse than ending an angry dialogue without any plan for resolution and understanding.