Should You Tell Your Partner What You Discuss In Your Own Therapy?

If you want to get closer to your partner, ask them about their therapy session.

psychotherapy session Kmpzzz/ Shutterstock

On my Facebook page, there was a discussion about whether people tell their partners what they discuss in therapy.

Of course, there is no law that you have to disclose what you are discussing, and for people who are discussing ambivalence about their partner and debating divorce, you may have other reasons for not sharing. But in general, I believe it is positive to discuss your own therapy with your partner, and that in not doing so, you are “leaving money on the table."


Whenever I write a post or record a podcast episode, I try to remember to encourage people to share the post/podcast with their partner if it resonated with them, in order to spark a discussion that could potentially bring them closer as a couple.

When you talk about new topics, it can strengthen your connection and allow you to understand one another in a new way, which was the premise of my 52 Emails To Transform Your Marriage book and a large part of couples counseling. Increased empathy and closeness are wonderful for the emotional health of your relationship.

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If even discussing a podcast or a post can bring you and your spouse closer, imagine discussing your actual therapy session.

The topics you cover in therapy are specifically about you, your upbringing, your struggles, your thoughts, and your goals. Understanding what you are working on can help your partner take your perspective and feel much closer and connected to you.

Being vulnerable enough to share your struggles and sensitive topics with your partner is a great way to turbocharge bonding. Vulnerability is instrumental in creating closeness, which is why it is a shame that so many people are scared to be vulnerable due to past experiences, usually in childhood.

Many people don’t discuss their own therapy because they are scared of looking foolish or weak to their spouses. Yet, in my practice, I have never seen disclosure about therapy negatively impact a relationship.


Instead, even about the most painful and sensitive topics, spouses are usually impressed by their partner’s commitment to self-exploration and progress. This is why so many people write in asking how to get their spouses to go to therapy, both couples and individuals.

It is very admirable to confront and work on your problems, and giving your partner a window into exactly how you are making progress in therapy can make them feel reassured that you are working on yourself as well as proud of you for doing this difficult work.

Women generally are more open about what they discussed that day in therapy and feel happy and close when their husband asks about it in detail because they interpret this as evidence of his interest in her inner world.

If your wife is in therapy and you have thought it would be a boundary violation to ask about what she talks about, why not take this opportunity to ask her if this is the right tactic or if she would find it useful or positive to discuss her session with you? You may be surprised at how enthusiastic she is about this, and she may have taken what you thought of as discretion to indicate a lack of interest.


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Men are less often willing to share what they discuss in therapy with their wives than the inverse because society tells men to hide their struggles and try to seem strong no matter what. Yet, so many women find their husbands emotionally distant and self-absorbed, in addition to uninterested in deeper self-knowledge.

Many, many women complain that their husbands are defensive and lie in order to “get out of trouble.” The counterweight to your wife thinking of you this way would be to open up about struggles and insecurities.

It is incredibly difficult to empathize with a man who never admits weakness in any area, as discussed in my post-Mr. Perfect And His Crazy Wife. If you are in a dynamic like this, admitting that you have fears, anxieties, and insecurities is a way for your wife to understand you better and feel that you are human and flawed just like her.


Women close themselves off to men who try to appear invulnerable because it doesn’t feel safe to open up to a man who never opens up back. In couples counseling, when women see their husbands open up, this is often the fast track to increased closeness and more authentic, deeper connection.

If you have considered therapy to be your own private journey, but you are also someone who struggles with connecting deeply to your partner and has been told that you have a guard up, consider that most individuals who describe themselves as “private” in early therapy eventually come to recognize that this “privacy” is usually due to learning in early life that people are not to be trusted or relied upon.

If this is you, consider sharing some of the macro-level themes that you are working on in counseling, and build up to some details.

Although it may seem very emotionally dangerous to share something deep about yourself or your history, if your spouse reacts in an interested, empathic way, this can help reparent you and teach you that relationships can be trusted after all.


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In a situation where even a general, macro-level disclosure actually yields an unempathetic response, then this can give you information about your relationship and motivate you to work on the relationship itself, which is likely in trouble if this is the response you receive.

Remember that if you had an upbringing in which parents couldn’t be trusted, you may have married the same sort of individual, and this needs to be addressed directly.


Perhaps this post made you curious about a different way of conceptualizing your own therapy: self-growth and development combined with a way to test out new, deeper ways of opening up to your partner. If so, try to share this post with your partner and use it to open up a discussion.

You can ask each other why you may not have shared your own sessions with each other before, whether you would like to change this, fears about changing in this way, and what sharing could mean to both of you.

RELATED: 5 Things To Ask Yourself To Be A Better Partner

Dr. Samantha Rodman Whiten, aka Dr. Psych Mom, is a clinical psychologist in private practice and the founder of DrPsychMom. She works with adults and couples in her group practice Best Life Behavioral Health.