My partner won’t seek help with me

Has your partner asked you to come to Imago with them?

I’m not the problem! Why should I go with my partner to a couple’s therapy weekend?

It may not feel like the most romantic or reassuring suggestion when your partner suggests you attend a couple’s therapy workshop weekend together. But it’s an incredibly respectful and loving invitation. What they are saying is: I love you, and I want both of us to get the most out of our relationship.

At an Imago Weekend Workshop, you will meet plenty of other people who came with doubt and trepidation in their hearts. When you leave, you will mostly likely find you are more connected to your partner, and delighted in your togetherness than you have been in years.

Everything’s fine – if my partner just stopped caring, we’d get along great!

Even if you’re prepared to acknowledge that things aren’t exactly a bed of roses right now, you may well think it will probably all blow over. Or it’s tempting to think your partner is overly invested in unrealistic romantic fantasies that are spread around by TV and movies.

When he or she talks about how your relationship is falling short of the mark, it probably just feels like criticism. You may believe it’s your partner’s standards that need to change – not yours. You never promised to be perfect. With kids to chauffeur around, bills to pay, work and family to worry about, it’s hardly surprising things aren’t as romantic as they were when you first met. Your partner is reaching for the moon!

At Imago Relationships, we firmly believe that partners actively choose each other in order to work together through an initial Romantic phase, then a Power Struggle, and finally a long-lasting era of True Love that will sustain and delight them both for the rest of their lives. It is not some foolish dream, but a very powerful reality played out every day in millions of relationship across the world. If you could give that to your partner, and have it for yourself, why wouldn’t you do a little bit of work now to make it happen?

I know all about couple’s therapy. My partner and the therapist are going to gang up and tell me it’s all my fault!

Many of us have tried couple’s therapy, or know friends who have, and had bad experiences. Unfortunately, in many forms of couple’s therapy, the therapist ends up being cast in the role of a referee deciding who’s “right” and who’s “wrong”.

Imago, by contrast, is completely focused on turning you and your partner towards each other to improve your communication. Couples who use the simple Imago dialogue tools find themselves listening and being heard with a depth they’ve never experienced before. The therapist is there as a guide, to hold the space in which real – and really useful – communication can take place. Imago believes all that you need to reach a vibrant, loving intimacy is already there. It’s a question of using the right tools to truly step into your partner’s reality, and invite them into yours, safe in the knowledge that you are seen, heard, loved and valued.

I’m not going to do my dirty laundry in front of a bunch of strangers!

At Imago Weekend Workshops there is never any requirement for you to share what you are thinking and discussing with your partner with the others. At every stage, a volunteer couple will demonstrate the exercise, and then couples will be given their own private space in which to conduct that phase of the work, with Imago professionals on hand to give individual help if you get stuck. However, you may well find the experience of being with other couples who are working through their difficulties, and seeing how universal the obstacles are, very heartening. You’re not in this alone.

Most people leave an Imago Weekend Workshop with a spring in their step, and a heart full of loving hope for the future with a wonderful partner who is exactly right for them. That’s not a bad result for a two-day commitment. Next time you find yourself retreating into the idea that your relationship can’t be fixed, is all right anyway, and besides it’s not your fault – think about a bright light shining into that dark place and showing you a whole new way to be in love.