How to Get Your Husband (or Wife) On-side
Updated: 2 days ago
A Psychotherapist's Guide to Building and Maintaining a Harmonious, Loving Relationship
Note: In this post, when we talk about your “husband” or “wife,” our guidance applies equally to any partner of any gender in a committed relationship, regardless of marital status or the heteronormativity of your relationship.
In committed relationships, couples often encounter challenges, leading to one partner feeling ignored or misunderstood. This may feel like your husband or wife is never on your side, which can feel frustrating and hurtful and create a feeling of “them against you.” My fellow psychotherapists, colleagues, and I often express how this complaint is common in both individual and couples sessions within our psychotherapy practice.
We deeply understand the struggle some married folks endure in their relationships. So, if you have come to this post with the desire to learn “how to get my husband on my side,” the following guide will help, with no coercive tactics of manipulation required. If you are trying to get your wife “on your side,” this information will be equally helpful.
Here’s one way to approach this issue and begin to move towards a partnership where both partners are on each other’s side rather than in opposition.
Recognize the Differences and Commit to Understanding Each Other
Start by identifying your differences with the matter at hand. Can you both acknowledge how you might have different perspectives, values, and needs? Can you appreciate that these differences are natural in a relationship? You won’t always agree on everything, right? Can you talk openly about these matters of concern with respect for one another? By understanding where each person comes from, you can approach problems with compassion and empathy.
To Get Them On Your Side, Be Sure to Check Yourself Too!
Recognizing one another's differences may bring up some judgmental thoughts. It is important to take a minute and check yourself and your thoughts. Is your partner truly not on your side, or are you struggling with some of your own stuff where you might be distressed or triggered by something that’s been said or not said, done or not done? It can happen, and it’s okay! Sometimes, we forget how awesome our current partners actually are and transfer our past partners and experiences onto them. Remember, you wouldn’t be with them if they were your ex-partner.
Build Communication Skills
Effective communication between couples requires patience, practice and intention. It’s important to focus on empathy, be present and actively listen, and clearly express your feelings and needs. Understand that your partner’s perspective might differ from yours, and that’s okay. The goal is to foster a relationship where both parties feel safe to speak their minds and emotions, where you can check your judgements and support each other.
Nurture Trust Through Understanding
Trust in a relationship is essential and should be attended to regularly. Be sure to follow through on your promises to each other and show appreciation for each other's efforts. Nurturing trust means honouring commitments and being consistent in your actions. Acknowledging and appreciating even the smallest efforts can foster a positive environment where trust will thrive. Remember, you may not owe your partner explanations, but it is a courtesy extended in a relationship and helps create a space of safety and trust. Small gestures like this can help get your partner on your side.
Create a Shared Vision Together
One key way to get your husband on your side is to find common ground with them by collaborating on shared goals and dreams. Discuss your values and desires openly and create a joint vision that reflects both partners’ aspirations. Working together to achieve your goals and shared dreams can strengthen the bond and create a team-oriented dynamic.
Consider Professional Guidance From a Therapist
Working with a therapist on my psychotherapy team in couples counselling sessions can help bridge the gap between you and your partner. A therapist can facilitate an open and honest conversation to help uncover underlying issues, resentments and triggers that could contribute to a tumultuous partnership. With a couples therapist, you can work towards improving your relationship, building the skills to grow your relationship and focus on your unique situation and needs.
Within the safety of a neutral therapeutic environment, both partners can express their feelings, thoughts and opinions without judgment or blame. This safe space encourages openness and honesty, which are crucial for healing and growth. You’ll be able to understand each other on a deeper level, perhaps the roots of why your partner is not on side with issues that are important to you. You’ll also be able to help them see your perspective and find solutions that work for both of you.
To get ahead and start on your healthy communication, click here for our free PDF on the 10 Commandments of Clean Communication.
All our couples therapists have taken additional training to work specifically with couples and are skilled in teaching and modelling effective communication techniques that promote understanding and compassion. Embrace and practice these strategies to help you get your partner on side. Using them can lead to profound changes in how you relate to each other, creating a more harmonious and connected relationship.
Some of the other outcomes of working with a therapist include:
Improved Communication Skills: A skilled therapist can help you and your partner develop effective communication skills and strategies. You'll learn how to constructively express your thoughts, feelings, and concerns while reducing misunderstandings and conflict.
Enhanced Conflict Resolution: Conflict is a natural part of any relationship. Couples counselling provides a safe space to address disagreements and conflicts while learning how to resolve them in healthy ways. This can lead to fewer intense arguments and more collaborative problem-solving with your partner.
Increased Emotional Intimacy: Through guided discussions and exercises, couples can deepen their emotional connection and intimacy. Sharing vulnerabilities and understanding each other's emotions can create a stronger bond and intimacy.
Identifying Patterns: A therapist can help you recognize recurring patterns of behaviour or communication that may contribute to challenges in the relationship. Identifying these patterns can be the first step toward breaking negative cycles both in relationships and personally.
Building Trust and Rebuilding: If trust has been eroded for one reason or another, not just infidelity, couples counselling can provide trust-building skills and a way to connect while learning to approach rebuilding trust. Learning to forgive and heal can lead to a more resilient partnership and overall relationship
Rediscovering Intimacy: Intimacy goes beyond physical connection; it involves emotional, intellectual, and spiritual closeness. Couples counselling can help reignite intimacy that may have faded over time and create a safe space to open up to vulnerability and connection.
Strengthened Relationship Foundation: You can build a stronger foundation for your shared future by delving into your relationship's strengths and weaknesses. This can serve as a source of resilience during tough times.
What if My Partner Won’t Come With Me to Couples Counselling?
While it's not an absolute requirement for both partners to attend every session, there are significant benefits to doing so. Couples counselling typically focuses on improving communication, resolving conflicts, strengthening the relationship and reconnecting with your partner. When both individuals are present, therapists can gain insights into each person's perspective, leading to a more comprehensive understanding of the dynamics at play.
However, there might be situations where one partner is initially resistant to attending therapy. In such cases, individual counselling sessions may help address personal concerns affecting the relationship. It's important to remember that every couple's situation is unique, and there is no one-size-fits-all answer.
Get in Touch
If you or someone you know is struggling in their committed romantic relationship, reach out to me and my team via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or 647-296-9235, and we will work to help you find a therapist. We offer a free 30-minute consultation via phone or video chat, and we’re available for online therapy sessions using our secure online video platform across Ontario and in-person sessions in select cities.
Free Downloadable Tool
To help you get started, click the button below to download our free communication booster tool, "The 10 Commandments of Clean Communication.”