My Partner Refuses Couples Counseling
From time to time, I hear variations on a theme regarding going to couples counseling:
“My girlfriend refuses couples counseling”
“My wife won’t go to marriage counseling!”
“My husband won’t got to couples therapy”
“We need couples therapy but my boyfriend won’t go.”
If you are reading this blog post, my guess is that you’re the one that really wants to go to counseling and your partner doesn’t.
I’ll be honest,
I get why your significant other is resistant.
It can feel very overwhelming and vulnerable to talk to someone about your relationship.
Maybe your partner is resistant because they fear being attacked or the therapist taking your side.
Perhaps your partner is resistant because of the financial cost.
After all, no one enjoys repetitive disagreements that never go anywhere. And, after a while, repetitive fights can do long-term damage to a relationship.
Whatever the reason your partner doesn’t want to go to couples counseling, the next few blog posts will address commonly named sentiments about why your partner refuses couples counseling and reasons why your partner may want to reconsider.
I’m going to outline a step-by-step guide on how to talk to your partner about couples counseling!
Ask questions to better understand why your partner doesn’t want to go to couples therapy.
Pretend with me for a second:
You desperately want your boyfriend/girlfriend/husband/wife to attend couples therapy.
You see the issues and they aren’t going away… if anything they only seem to ignite faster and get more explosive as each day goes on.
You want to face your concerns head-on and you want to do it RIGHT NOW.
Your natural reaction may be to make a declaration that this is what should be done and announce that you are scheduling a couples therapy appointment…
Your bubble is quickly burst when your significant other gives you a hard NO! Or maybe even a HELLS NO!
Here’s my advice if this happens:
- Slow the conversation down! Way, way down. Ask yourself, “How do I feel right now?” You might just feel unwanted, frustrated, powerless, or betrayed. If so, that’s okay… and it is important to accept your feelings. HOWEVER, you don’t have to act on those feelings. Instead, get curious…
- Consider your partner’s reaction.
- Get curious as to why they may have had a strong negative reaction.
- When you are calm and confident, return to your partner and seek to understand. The fact of the matter is that you can’t adequately address their concerns without truly understanding their rationale.
- Once you hear their objections, it is ideal to ask any clarifying questions and repeat back what you think you heard.
- Walk away and chew on their concerns. Make sure to find aspects of their concerns that you can validate (again, you won’t get very far in convincing your partner to attend therapy if you invalidate their concerns).
- Take as much time as you need to think through how you’d like to respond.
If you feel anxious about your partner’s refusal to go to therapy, remember this:
Just because they don’t want to work on the relationship in couples counseling does NOT mean that they don’t want to work on the relationship at all!
Below are potential (valid!!!) reasons your partner refuses to go to therapy and reasons why they may want to reconsider:
Why My Partner Refuses Couples Counseling
They don’t want to tell a stranger their problems
I say: Valid concern!
Who dreams of being vulnerable with a stranger (even if that stranger is super nice and not judgemental)?
Going into an unfamiliar place with a total stranger may be hard enough for your partner.
Layer on top of that confronting difficult thoughts, feelings, and emotions.
It can be absolutely overwhelming!!!
Plus, airing dirty laundry and facing difficult topics may make it truly intolerable.
Fear and avoidance are normal reactions for the majority of people.
Yet, feeling authentically accepted and connected to those you love is also a normal part of being human.
It makes life much sweeter if you feel accepted and like you belong in your closest relationships!
Couples therapy can help you do just that. But, to get to feel more connected, it takes the courage to take the steps to begin the journey.
#2 Reason Why My Partner Refuses Couples Counseling
Sorry to tease you, but to find out issue #2 you’re gonna have to wait until my next post, where I give you 9 more reasons that your partner refuses couples counseling… and what you can do to improve your relationship… even if your partner never attends steps foot in a counseling room.
Until then, are you ready to give therapy a go?
Free free to contact me directly if you have questions or to schedule a brief call to see if I might be able to support you as you journey forward.
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