It’s hard when you know something is wrong with your marriage, and there seems to be little you can do about it. The problem can be obvious, like drinking, infidelity, or a lot of arguing. It can be subtle like you aren’t talking like you once did. Either way, you know that marriage counseling is needed. The problem is your husband refuses.
What to do if your husband refuses marriage counseling even if you need it? The primary way you can convince your husband is to remove all obstacles preventing him from going. First, you must find out why he has such objections. Resolving the objections will get to the root, where he will express his real fear. That is an excellent first step.
Read further to find out how to work through this process in hopes of saving your marriage.
The Truth About Resistance
Men get a bit of bad press about resisting going to marriage counseling. Most counselors state it isn’t always men who resist. About 50 percent of those who call for counseling help are men who state their wives are refusing counseling.
There are specifics about why men refuse to go to marriage counseling, but there is one truth for both sexes who resist. They don’t want to take their portion of responsibility for marital problems.
Marital problems can’t always be blamed on one partner because two are involved. It’s more likely that both contributed.
For men, the idea that they will be blamed for all the problems in the marriage is the primary reason they don’t want to go to counseling. They think the counselor will side with the wife because the wife contacted them. Men automatically assume they will be thrown under the bus in a counseling session.
Other reasons for men resisting counseling include:
- Many have past experiences that weren’t successful.
- Men don’t want to admit they can’t fix the problem. Men don’t want to admit they don’t know about a problem or that there is a problem.
- Some men, not all, control their partner and the relationship. Going to counseling would end that.
In some cases, couple’s therapy can make things worse for a while. This happens because things are uncovered in a session that was previously hidden. It takes several sessions to deal with these things, so they remain unresolved at the end of an hour of therapy. The couple leaves upset and continues to argue about these things at home.
Many couples end up never going to counseling because the partner refuses. There is no cheerful ending for this situation. Either the couple continues in misery or will end in divorce.
How To Convince Him to Go
Women must realize they can’t force their husbands to go to counseling. It has to be his choice, especially if you hope for positive results. Even so, there are ways for wives to help their husbands work through their anxieties about going to counseling.
The first thing to do is assess their reasons for not wanting to go. This will involve more profound questions like whether an experience was bad or if they fear the counselor will side with the wife.
Ask if they are stressed by work and are worried about the time it will take. Once you get to a reason, there are ways to overcome it. Let them pick the counselor, the place, the time. Give him as much control over scheduling the counseling session as possible. Let him know that you aren’t fighting with him but that you are fighting for him and your marriage.
Don’t argue with him about it. Kindness should rule. Be compassionate in trying to find out why he doesn’t want to go and express to him why you feel you should. Accept responsibility for your part in the marriage and tell him you want to learn how to be a better wife and need help.
Creating that sense of unity can resolve many of his fears about counseling.
Other Types of Therapies
A good way may be to use an alternative to traditional marital counseling like online therapy. Ask your husband if he will at least look at some websites to find out more without commitment.
Ask if he would be willing to read a blog, a book, or attend a therapist just to get to know them to see if he likes them. Again, stress there isn’t a commitment.
Should You Go Alone?
There’s a bit of a debate about whether women should attend counseling alone if their husband refuses to go. Psychology experts state there isn’t any evidence that going alone helps the marriage.
Yet, the purpose of going alone may not be to help the marriage but to help you. Going to a therapist on your own can help you deal with issues like resentment, unforgiveness, and some deep-rooted issues from previous relationships or family issues.
You may learn new relationship skills and start taking better care of yourself. Ultimately, changing you may help your marriage.
Make the Decision
One male-oriented therapist said something interesting often happens if the wife goes to counseling. The resistant husband may come later to share his side of the story. Another surprising element is the resistant one tends to talk the most in the first session. It’s kind of like the pop bursting off a champagne bottle. Everything inside bubbles out.
One key reason women should go to counseling without their husbands is to learn to empower themselves again. Many times, marital issues beat women down psychologically. They feel unappreciated, unloved, and even incapable of being loved. They stopped taking care of themselves and then started feeling “ugly.”
Counseling can give them the power and the confidence they need to escape that horrible cycle.
Doing that can help their marriage because they can find some of themselves that their husband fell in love with in the first place. Positive changes in your may encourage your husband to seek counseling for himself.
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