Here are some suggestions to wives, partners, children, parents, friends of the man who could benefit from the services we offer.
- Remind him that nothing is permanent: I would at least like you to give this a fair shot. If we try this for awhile and it’s getting nowhere, we can stop.
- Make sure he has a reasonable amount of control over the situation: (a) I’ve got a list here of people who have been recommended to us. Do you think you would feel more comfortable going to see a male of female therapist? or (b) Let’s try going in as a couple and see what the counsellor recommends.
- Be creative and respectful with what you call this: I heard about a counsellor/professional/specialist/psychologist who specialises in consulting with men.
- His partner can offer reasonable quid pro quo: You’ve been wanting me to go to football game with you for along time. I promise to go to a game with you – with a good attitude – if you’ll keep a good attitude about this. (Don’t let the quid pro quo include anything you would find distasteful or degrading)
- His partner can reframe the problem as something that HE wants to see changed: You know how you’ve been wanting me to stay on our budget? That’s one of the things we can work on in these counselling sessions.
- His partner can appeal to his sense of commitment to his kids. The ways we have been fighting are really harmful to our kids, and I know how much you love them. I think we owe it to them to work these things out.
- His partner can let him know how important this is to her: I know how much you try to please me and how much it means to you to see me happy. This is something that will really mean a lot to me.
- His partner can lay it on the line: I am at the end of my rope with our relationship. I desperately want this to work, but if you do not get into counselling I’m leaving.
Please note that the above suggestions are all meant to communicate as much respect as possible for the man’s autonomy, personal concerns, and inhibitions – again without forsaking the mission: whatever it takes, within reason to get him in the door.