What To Do When Your Spouse Refuses To Go To Marriage Counseling
If you recognize that your marriage has some issues and you want to do something about them before it's too late, you might want to go to a marriage counselor. Unfortunately, it is fairly common to experience some degree of resistance from your spouse—if not outright refusal. When you are faced with a spouse who says they won't go to marriage counseling, you don't have to feel stuck. Read on to find out what you can do.
Don't Give Up
Perhaps the first reaction for many people in this situation is to give up, thinking "It's impossible. If my spouse refuses to work on the problem, our marriage has no hope." While it's understandable that you might initially feel this way, giving up is the worst thing you can do.
If you give up on the marriage, it will only make your spouse react badly in many cases. Maybe your spouse doesn't recognize that the marriage is in trouble and that is their reason for refusing counseling. If you give up, that only sends a message that you aren't invested in the marriage and may encourage your spouse to throw in the towel themselves. Your mental attitude can go a long way in keeping the marriage alive, so keep it as positive as possible.
Go By Yourself
You might think that going to marriage counseling by yourself sounds silly. After all, the issue is within the marriage, and by definition that involves both of you. Keep in mind, though, that marriage counseling has plenty to teach you even if you begin the process alone. Talk to a marriage counselor about the situation, informing them that your spouse won't come to sessions at this time. Most counselors will welcome you as an individual, anyway.
During your solo sessions with the marriage counselor, you will learn some helpful ways to identify what is going wrong in the marriage. You don't have to get your spouse's participation to identify these things, although it can certainly help if your spouse agrees to come in the future.
Another thing that your marriage counselor can teach you during solo sessions is effective ways to cope with the stress of the marital strain. Suffering from the stress every day and having no effective ways to deal with it will only cause extra strain and make the marital issues worse. When you have coping mechanisms for the stress you can better deal with your spouse, even when they do the things that may have driven you crazy before.
If your spouse just isn't into the idea of marital counseling, that doesn't have to leave you in a dead marriage. Use the tips above to make sure that you take a positive and powerful approach, even without your spouse's help.