Five Steps To Take When Your Partner Does Not Think Marriage Counseling Is Necessary

Marriage counseling can be a very valuable tool when you are attempting to work out the differences in your marriage. By working with a counselor, you are able to work your problems out with a neutral third party, who literally does not have a dog in the fight. Counseling is a great idea if everyone is on board, but what do you do when one of you is on board, and the other person is resistant to the idea? All is not lost, there are still steps you can take to help make counseling work.

Step # 1 - Sell The Advantages To Marriage Counseling

When you ask your reluctant spouse about attending marriage counseling, most of them probably envision sessions centered around finger pointing. Explain to them that this is not the case. When you attend marriage counseling, you will have a trained third party who will be able to identify and overcome various hurdles which may be in your relationship. For example:

  • They can help you to explore the consequences of words and actions
  • Discover hidden expectations
  • Explore conflicts which arise as a result of those expectations
  • Look at relationship patterns
  • Guide you through lifestyle, as well as physical health changes
  • Assist you in working out parenting disagreements
  • Uncover beliefs that you may not even realize that you hold, and more

Did you know that most relationship problems stem from one simple thing, and that thing is poor communication. Good communication in a relationship is actually an art form that must be developed. Counseling can help the two of you learn ways to not only communicate, but to do it in a healthy way. This alone will help to move your relationship to the next level. 

Step #2 - Show You Are Willing To Go Alone

If you really feel that counseling is in order, and your spouse is reluctant to go, why not go alone? This may appear to defeat the purpose of couples counseling, but you will be surprised how much work can be done with just one of you. When your spouse sees that you are committed to the process, and willing to change, they may be more willing to go with you.

Step #3 - Allow Your Partner To Help Choose The Counselor

If you walk in and propose counseling with a counselor who you have already picked out, your spouse may feel that they are being ambushed. This could be their perception even if you have never met the counselor.  

Sit down and talk together about the type of counselor that each of you would be more comfortable with. While you may be more comfortable with someone that you know, such as your minister, your spouse may feel differently. Be willing to compromise and find a counselor who will work for both of you.

Step #4 - Be Willing To Listen To Their Concerns

Your spouse may have some valid concerns about attending marriage counseling. Be willing to openly listen to their concerns, and work through these. 

For example: If one of their concerns is the cost involved in counseling, be willing to find ways to offset this expense even if it means making a sacrifice on your part. Remember, counseling will not go on indefinitely. Counseling may take time, but a short-term sacrifice may be worth saving your marriage.

To prepare for this conversation, make a list of the objections that you anticipate in advance, as well as ways to overcome them. 

Step #5 - Be Patient

Although your spouse may object to counseling when it is initially proposed, this does not mean they will object indefinitely; they may come around on their own. You just have to practice patience.