You didn’t know this was a thing, did you?
That you could get ‘fired’ from marriage counseling – Clients fire therapists, not the other way around, right?
Well, it happens.
Oh, and guess what-
I don’t even have to do the work.
“How come?” you ask.
Because your spouse sort of volunteers to do it for me.
At no cost.
(Can you believe it? – I KNOW, right?)
Without further ado, here is the recipe for you. Follow these tips and I guarantee it will work.
And I mean, all the time.
And when you waltz in, I don’t know, 10, 15, 25 min late, don’t say a thing.
Not to your spouse, not to your therapist.
You know, that thing people say?
“I am sorry. This or the other thing happened and I had no way of contacting either one of you because I forgot my phone at home this morning. So sorry for the disruption.”
Don’t say that.
Just plump yourself on the couch and exhale, while shaking your head.
Every time that your spouse brings something to your attention, get all uppity about it and put it back on them.
Yep, throw it back in their lap.
Make them responsible.
For all of it.
Something like this will do:
“But YOU made me mad – that’s why I reacted like that.”
“YOU shouldn’t do stuff like that to me – that only makes me all pissed off in return!”
“You KNOW I don’t like it when you do that!”
And really, this can be done at home or in session.
But – this will work extra well in my office because we have prefaced the conversation in a respectful way AND your spouse has done the work to be an ‘adult’ about the issue AND he/she is following the prompts we have practiced in the past.
So yes, if you continue to wash your hands, saying – “I have nothing to do with that, it’s not my fault” – instead of really listening to your spouse and responding responsibly – that’s really all you gotta do.
What does that entail?
It’s really simple.
And real easy.
“Yes, I know I said that last week but I didn’t mean it.”
“I promise stuff to people all the time, you should know by now that’s who I am and that it doesn’t mean a thing.”
“I remember that we agreed. But I have a right to change my mind. There.”
“Yes, you told me I go back on my word but – sometimes, you just have to. You can’t expect me to keep every promise I make…”
The best version of this looks something like this:
You gave us something to do during the week?
(And then, looking at your spouse) Did YOU do it?
Why didn’t you remind me?
And to get the best value out of the deal, do this:
Consistently fail to do anything that’s asked of you outside of session.
Your partner will, at some point, decide that this is a waste of their time and decide that it would, in fact, be more in their interest to just come in solo than to leave feeling defeated every week.
Want to earn bonus points?
Do it without letting your partner (and/or your therapist) know.
Better yet, when confronted about it later, say: “What? I am not my spouse’s keeper! What do you want from me?”
For best results, do this when your spouse found a sitter substitute last minute because regular one got sick.
OR when you know that your spouse is coming from the far end of town and has gone through an hour of crazy traffic to get there.
OR when they are feeling under the weather.
Any combination of the above will work just fine.
Even just one of those excuses should help you get canned in no time
I know, I know – I said five – here is one more. For extra credit.
Yes, as in drunk.
Or both if you want.
And, I mean really, you don’t have to come completely wasted.
Smelling of booze or pot will do.
That’s all, folks.
That’s the last one.
If you try all these, or a combination of a few, I guarantee your spouse will kick you out of marriage counseling.
No doubt about it.
That’s why I called them the SUREFIRE ways of getting fired.
By definition that’s what that means.
So, good luck.
Now, if that’s not really what you are after – if you don’t participate in such behavior, thank you for caring.
You are one step closer to making it work.
Yes, your marriage.
And for all the marriage therapists out there, I wish you the world.