Reading for couples can be a fun and enlightening experience for both the couple and the reader. In some situations, it can also be deeply healing as a tarot reading can provide a neutral space for sorting out issues and looking at the bigger picture.
But in some cases, it can also be a potential land mine situation where the reader becomes an unwitting pawn in a War Of The Roses. I’ve sat with hostile partners, unwilling spouses who were dragged to the reading, overbearing parents, and worse. I’ve even had some clients use the reading in a way to manipulate their partner by twisting the interpretation to suit their agenda. Although all of these types of situations are rare, it can still happen from time to time which is why both client and reader need to practice mindfulness should a couple decide to come in together.
Creating a safe and sacred environment is a must – and that requires mutual respect and healthy boundaries on both sides. Here’s my best advice for both couples and readers should they decide to allow a partner (parent, child, coworker, friend, etc) to sit in on the reading:
For the client:
- Make sure your partner is open to the experience. If they really don’t want to be there, don’t bring them. Likewise, don’t allow them to sit in if they interfere with your ability to concentrate or if they make you uncomfortable in any way. Ideally, both people should be into it and respectful.
- If your relationship is troubled, come in with a willingness to explore options to improve the situation rather than looking for a set in stone future. Things can always (and often do) change.
- Ask questions that move your situation in a healthy direction. Avoid “should” questions (ex: should we move in together?) – those disempower you and puts the reader in an awkward position of making decisions for you. Better questions would be the “what can I do to” or “how can I” sort.
- Talk with your partner beforehand to discuss what questions you will ask. This way you avoid duplicate questions.
- Consider having separate readers if your situation is problematic. Most readers can remain objective – but separate readers ensures it remains that way.
- If you wish to discuss subject matter that is highly sensitive, it may be better to come in alone.
- Should you and your partner call it quits, do not badger your reader to find out if the other person is still coming in for readings – nor should you ask any questions about the other person’s readings. It’s none of your business.
For the reader
- Keep the atmosphere positive and relaxed. Have a waiting area outside if one person changes their mind and wants privacy.
- Encourage solution oriented questions that promote personal responsibility and puts the future squarely in the client’s hands.
- You are not a marriage counselor. Refer them to one if the situation merits it.
- In some cases, you may need to refuse to read for one partner. If you cannot be objective, you are doing a disservice to the client and putting yourself in an awkward position. Best to be honest about it and refer them to someone else.
- Strict client confidentiality is a must. That means if the couple breaks up or one comes in solo, you do not give any information to the other party. If they inquire, stop the conversation immediately and let them know that you will not divulge a thing (that includes whether or not the person inquired about uses your services).
The benefits of coming in with a partner are many (someone to take notes for you, sharing an experience, support, etc) but a shared reading also requires a united and sacred environment from both clients and reader. Set that tone immediately and everyone walks away with a positive experience.
“Lots of people want to ride with you in the limo, but what you want is someone who will take the bus with you when the limo breaks down.” ~Oprah Winfrey
© Theresa Reed | The Tarot Lady 2012
image from Twilight Zone episode “Nick Of Time”
Do you bring a buddy or loved one in when you get a reading? If so, what do you enjoy about that? If you are a reader, what other advice would you offer for both reader or client? Please share your wisdom and stories in the comment section below: