When a partner resists relationship therapy
Relationship therapy can make a real difference to a couple. It can help them reconnect, replenish and re-ignite their relationship. Yet what do you do if you cannot get your partner to agree to relationship therapy? Do you drag them along with ultimatums, do you give up on fixing your relationship, or do you give up on the relationship. Perhaps, there is some other less drastic ways to tackle the problem.
It can make a big difference the way that a spouse is asked to go to relationship therapy. Often we ask our partner to go to fix problems, or because of the fighting. We could also talk about the benefits. I hate the fighting and I want to get back to the loving couple that we always were and I really think this could help. Giving space, time and information for your partner to think about going can also help.
You may have felt for some time that relationship therapy is the best way forward for you and your partner. Yet when you broach the subject, you feel that you are given excuses, “Things aren’t that bad” or, “It’s normal for people to be like this we don’t have a problems” or, “I don’t want to tell a stranger all our private details”. This can leave you feeling rejected and alone not sure what to do next.
Perhaps it’s important to understand if your partner has a problem with therapy or talking about your problems. Will they sit and have an adult discussion about the issues that you are having in your relationship. An adult discussion is one that is about trying to solve relationship problems, rather than blame and history. If you can solve your problems in this way then perhaps it is possible to move forward without therapy. If they refuse to work on the relationship there are significant problems.
Perhaps their self-belief is hurt by the idea of therapy. That they believe it will be a judgement about who did what to whom. When in reality it is about a safe space that is non-judgemental to discuss and move forward with your relationship to try and find a way back to a healthy relationship. Often one partner will not feel the impact of the problems as much as the other and so will place less emphasis on getting a solution. In their reality things aren’t that bad. It is about being honest and without nagging or being angry making it clear how critical to the health of your relationship going to therapy is for you.
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About Graeme Orr
Graeme is a counsellor and author living and working on the south side of Glasgow. In his practice he sees a number of clients with emotional, anxiety and self-esteem that have relevance to us all. His articles are based on that experience and are offered as an opportunity to identify with, or to challenge you to make changes in your life.