When facing a difficult time in your marriage, couples counseling can be immensely beneficial. A great therapist can help the two of you navigate relationship challenges, become better at communicating with and appreciating each other, and help you to understand each other’s perspectives. Unfortunately, just because couples counseling may be a great idea doesn’t mean your spouse sees it that way. One spouse resisting counseling is actually a pretty common problem. Here are five ways to deal with it: 1. Listen to Their Reasons It’s a good idea to sit down and have an open, non-judgmental discussion with your spouse about why they are hesitant to attend counseling with you. Approach this in a gentle way and don’t let yourself react defensively to their reasons. You may be surprised to discover that their reasons for not wanting to see a counselor are things you can easily address and reassure them about. For example, perhaps they are worried that you and the counselor are going to “gang up” on them. You can then explain that you instead see counseling as a collaborative discussion between the three of you. 2. Focus on the Positive Another way to help persuade your spouse to attend counseling is to focus on the positive reasons instead of focusing on your problems or the things you’re upset about. Rather than telling your spouse you’d like to see a counselor because you’re mad at them and have a list of grievances you’d like to discuss, tell them you think counseling will help give the two of you better communication and relationship skills. By focusing on the positive aspects of counseling, you will both start to see it as a step in the right direction and perhaps even something to look forward to. 3. Make Counseling Part of a Weekly Ritual Marriage counseling shouldn’t exist in a vacuum. Instead, it should be part of an overall effort to increase emotional intimacy and strengthen your relationship. With this in mind, talk to your spouse about making counseling part of a weekly couples ritual. Maybe you can hire a sitter, attend your counseling session together, and then have a quiet dinner at home where you relax and decompress together, discussing what you found helpful about your therapy session. 4. Ask Them to Commit to Just One Session If your spouse continues to resist counseling, ask them to commit to just one session. If they know they don’t necessarily have to commit long-term, and can back out if they go to counseling and hate it, they may feel less pressured and more open to counseling. Hopefully, once they attend their one session they will be able to see how beneficial therapy...Read More
After my husband passed away, I found myself spiraling into a deep depression. Instead of living with feelings of anxiety, frustration, and isolation, I decided to meet with a counselor to work things out. It was really interesting to talk through my problems with another person. After only a few sessions, I started to feel like myself again. I know how hard it can be to learn a new normal, which is why I want to encourage each of you to seek counseling. I know that if you search for a professional who can meet your needs, you can feel whole again.