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How To Get A Reluctant Partner To Agree To Marital Counseling

When you finally decide to seek counseling to save your marriage, the challenge arises when your partner decides that they aren’t interested. Usually it’s the man that refuses rather than the wife as sharing emotions is something easier for a woman to do than for a man.

Different psychological studies have revealed that most women deal with emotional concerns by talking about them, sharing their feelings, and matching experiences with others.

This however, can be frustrating for men. Most men feel like they are admitting failure as a husband or as a man in general. So how do you convince your husband to agree to counseling?

  1. Be direct: Tell your spouse that this is what you need to help your marriage. Emphasize the “fixing” aspect rather than the "talking" aspect. Communicate the idea that marital counseling is not merely about sharing of feelings but about finding solutions to the things that both of you are currently finding difficult.

  2. Keep the focus on yourself: Tell him that you want to learn how to be better in the relationship because you want things to work and you’re willing to do that for him. This will help him feel loved, as opposed to being attacked. Explaining to him that it is something that he is doing for you will make it easier to convince a man to go to marital counseling.

  3. Explain the need of a third person who isn't involved in the situation: More often than not, our friends and family have biased opinions. They evaluate the marriage based on what they hear from you and not both sides of the story.

  4. Choose a therapist carefully: Look for marriage counselors that can work well with your husband's background and personality. If he is religious, try to find a member of clergy or a therapist affiliated to his religious group. Or better yet, allow him to choose the therapist if that makes him more comfortable.

  5. If he’s unsure: If your husband is not comfortable discussing issues with you listening, inform him that individual sessions can be done in the beginning. While it is essential to go to marital counseling as a couple, individual sessions can be done at first. This way he may be more open to the idea of counseling.

  6. Get him to at least try one session: Tell him that there is no need to continue the sessions if he feels they aren't helping. Emphasize that it is important to at least try and then see how it goes from there.

And Remember...

If your husband refuses to go with you, it is an option for you to go on your own. It's not ideal - but it can still be done. The counselor will be able to give you some guidance based on what you tell him or her.

They'll also provide further advice on how to talk your other half into giving at least one session a try so they can see the benefit that talking through your problems can bring.

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