1. Do not show up at the first session with a bill board size list of all the things your spouse does that annoys you. You look controlling and narcissistic. And there's nothing that puts a shrink in a worse mood than a controlling narcissist.
2. Do not, when asked what you think after your spouse has listed a complaint, say, "I don't know." You look like a passive-aggressive numbskull. And there's nothing that puts a shrink in a foul mood like a passive-aggressive numbskull, except maybe a controlling narcissist.
3. Do not, when your spouse is rambling about her complex and convoluted feelings, doze off. You look like you don't give a sh*t. And since you're paying the shrink a hefty fee to occupy that comfy couch? You look like a spend thrift and an ignoramus. And there's nothing that gets under the skin of a shrink more than finding out you don't give a sh*t and apparently don't mind wasting hard-earned money while you perfect being an ignoramus.
4. Do not, when asked how you feel after listening to your spouse's rambling, complex and convoluted feelings, say, "Huh? Uh. What do I feel? Uh. Nothing." You look like a 1950's out-of-touch suburban slacker. And nothing makes a shrink side with your spouse faster than realizing you are a 1950's out-of-touch suburban slacker.
5. Do not, after your partner explains in a sensitive and carefully worded way that she is not having orgasms with your decades-old, same-old routine, say, "Huh. None of my ex-girlfriends ever complained." You look like a cad who has spent far too much time in front of cheap porno movies pushing the rewind button until your thumb is sprained.
And P.S. Your old girlfriends were lying.
You probably also bought the line, "You're only my second."
6. Do not, after listening to your spouse take responsibility for faults and overwrought, coming-unhinged emotional tendencies, say, "Well, as for me, I won Best All Around three years in a row." You look like an insensitive clod whose sense of self is as fragile as that English soccer goalie's ego after this now infamous World Cup move.
Speaking of the English goalie, here's a must-see video clip of a never-before-seen camera angle, complete with Green's never-before-heard internal dialog as the ball slips past. If you missed that link, it's What the English Goalie was Thinking.
7. Do not fool yourself into thinking that you will be let off the hook that easily.
You will not. You will, instead, look like a spouse who needs intensive individual therapy if your relationship stands a snowball's chance in July in New Jersey. Your spouse has drug you into therapy not because he wants to humiliate you but because she wants this relationship to work, i.e., your partner loves you. Now quit being a bonehead, wake up, take some responsibility, and show some love back. Because nothing makes a shrink feel more optimistic than two people willing to talk openly and risk showing the love back.