Unfortunately, you and your spouse are arguing in front of the kids, and it's just getting worse.
You wanna go take your spouse to see a marriage therapist, but they're resisting. What are you
supposed to do? Well, let's talk about that today on Tips on Teens. My name is Kent Toussaint.
I'm a licensed marriage and family therapist, and I specialize in helping kids, teens, and
families to live happier lives. I lead two organizations, Teen Therapy Center and the non -profit
501c3 organization Child and Teen Counseling, both here in Woodland Hills, California. Every
Wednesday at noon, I jump onto Facebook Live to answer your parenting questions. Let's answer
today's. My wife and I have been bumping heads on parenting decisions and it's been turning
into arguments. She lets them get away with stuff that I wouldn't and I feel like it's undermining
my authority. This really gets me mad and then we fight in front of the kids and I feel like crap.
I'm worried about the effects it could be having
on my kids and my relationships with them. I'd like to go see a marriage therapist, but she's
resisting. Any ideas on how to convince her and if I succeed, what should I tell my kids about
it? First, let me address the last part of your question. What do you tell your kids about it?
If you and your spouse decide to go to see a marriage therapist or marriage counseling, whatever
you want to call it, you should tell your kids be totally upfront about it. There's no reason
why you shouldn't tell them exactly what's going on. Hey, your mom and I are struggling to get
along right now. We're not seeing eye -to -eye. We want to get along and we're seeking help because
it communicates that you love not only your wife but also your kids enough to say I'm willing
to get help. I'm willing to step out of my comfort zone and find help so I can be a better husband,
a better parent, and your mom can do the same. And so you're demonstrating empathy, compassion,
self -accountability. So Hopefully you and
your wife are able to go talk to a counselor and get support and find a way and here's a way to Get
your wife now, you know, I don't know your wife. There's a thousand ways you can go because she's
a unique person but the reason why you want to go is Things aren't working and if you keep going
down this road, it's gonna still not work and it's not healthy for the kids It's not healthy for
you guys. Sounds like no one's really happy. So even if she's hasn't like I don't know therapy
What are they going to say to me? Therapy is a very, should be, a very warm, comfortable, safe
place to talk about what you're feeling, your vulnerabilities, and find common ground. It's
not about who's wrong and who's right. That's not good therapy. Good therapy is finding the
middle ground between the two of you. How do you guys have empathy and compassion? How do you
guys care about each other? How do you guys think about each other and have your actions reflect
that empathy and that compassion? And if you
can do that, you can model it for your children, and they can do it with each other and hopefully
their future relationships. Your relationship is the model for your kids' future romantic
relationships. What kind of example do you want to set for them? Now, I don't know if any of those
words would help you get your wife to marriage counseling. Again, it really depends on who she
is. But I think it's important to, not from a place of anger, but from a place of compassion of
warmth and vulnerability, say this is something I need and I want to make sure that we pull through
this. I want to make sure that you're getting the support you need from me, so I need help also.
So instead of trying not to point the finger, it's easy to do, it's just not very effective. So
take your own accountability and say, this is why I want it and why I need it and why I want to feel
better. Maybe that sparks the empathy in her and she's willing to come in. And maybe say, let's
just go once, let's just meet the
person. And then maybe it turns into a regular relationship and you guys improve your marriage.
Because unfortunately, people, often couples, often wait too long to get marriage therapy.
And they go to marriage therapy when they both have one foot out the door and they say, all right,
save this marriage in four sessions and we're done. It's really much more effective if you go
when both of you have both feet in the relationship and want to have a satisfying, loving relationship.
You both are committed to the relationship. If you wait till one or both of you are out the door,
or at least one foot out the door, that's really hard to overcome. Anyways, that's our question
for today. Thank you so much for your question. If you'd like me to answer your question here
on Tips on Teens, every Wednesday at noon on Facebook Live, email us at tipsonteens at teentherapycenter
.com. Again, my name is Kent Toussaint with Teen Therapy Center and the non -profit Child and
Teen Counseling. Hope you guys
all have a great week, and I'll see you next Wednesday. Bye -bye.
HELP IS ON THE WAY
Are you worried about your struggling marriage and its impact on your family, but your spouse isn’t open to seeing a marriage therapist? Don’t worry, help is on the way! We have some advice and strategies to help you communicate with your spouse. More importantly, we have compelling reasons for you to keep persevering.
A CHANCE TO MAKE AN IMPACT
Your relationship with your spouse sets the example for your children’s future relationships. This is your chance to demonstrate healthy behavior by seeking support for your marriage. Remember, you’re going to a marriage therapist because you love your family, and working to mend your marriage reinforces that. It’s crucial to start this process while both you and your spouse are still emotionally invested in the relationship, rather than when one of you is already thinking of leaving.
Don’t know how to start? Check out this Tips on Teens video with some ideas about how to get going:
Clinical Director Kent Toussaint answers your parenting questions every Wednesday at 12:00pm in our weekly segment Tips On Teens on Facebook Live. Have questions about parenting kids and teens? Send them to: TipsOnTeens@TeenTherapyCenter.com. We love to hear from you!
Head on over to our Facebook page every Wednesday at 12:00pm to watch LIVE! Check out our page here – https://www.facebook.com/TeenTherapyCenter/
If you have more questions or would like more information, please contact our Clinical Director, Kent Toussaint at 818.697.8555.