Choosing to attend couples therapy or marriage counseling can be a tough choice. If your spouse doesn’t share your same resolve to attend therapy, this can be frustrating and may make you feel powerless. While you may feel that there is nothing you can do, there are helpful actions that you can take. Just remember that forcing someone to go to talk with a therapist, likely will not yield the best results.
Validating concerns for both parties might be a good place to start. Seeking help through a therapist for yourself first could also help your partner or spouse see the helpful effects of therapeutic treatment.
Try Not To Let Fear Take Control
A common first reaction is to have fear about how your partner will react, or if they have already said no, fear that your relationship will never get better. Letting fear rule your decision-making is only going to make things worse. Many marriages go through phases where one partner wants to work harder on the relationship than others. It is understandable that you will have fear about attending therapy, losing someone you love, etc.
Fear may also be playing a part in their reluctance to attend therapy with you. Showing fear to your partner is not going to help put your mind at ease. Working to learn about why your partner is hesitant can help communicate about the benefits of therapy or if questions come out into the open.
Mental Health Stigma
The stigma around mental health and seeking therapy is starting to reduce. But there is still this thought that “therapy is only for crazy people” or “I don’t need help.” Having these misconceptions can be a major reason why your spouse or partner is refusing to seek counseling. They may also be concerned that people will judge them or talk about their issues behind their backs.
Therapy can be a great tool, even if you feel your marriage is healthy. Therapy and talking with a third party can help to improve your communication and intimacy. Attending therapy does not always have to be about deep issues. Talking to your partner about these benefits may help them to see that your intentions are to elevate the relationship.
Try An Alternative
While therapy is great, there are other alternatives that can work. You can ask your spouse what methods they would be open to. It is a possibility that talking once a week with just the two of you about what you need or talking about a specific issue can help improve your relationship. There are also self-help books and group classes that can take the pressure off of your spouse. Doing your own work to spend quality time together and validate their feelings can improve the quality of your relationship too. Take some time to get away, spend time without phones, or schedule date nights.
Another alternative is to try therapy on your own. Improving yourself can help improve your relationships. As you make changes, your spouse can start to notice this and may try to improve themselves as well. They may also become more curious about what you discuss with your therapist and start to learn more about what takes place in a therapy session. Going alone can help you deal with the stress of your spouse refusing to attend therapy or figuring out the next steps.
Is It Worth It?
Counseling can be more than worth it and can improve your relationship. It can be very effective if you trust the therapist and are open to having conversations about your relationship. There are multiple different methods that can be used during therapy that can work for different couples.
Couples and marriage therapy can help you learn more about each other and what you need from the relationship. How committed you are to therapy is how effective it will be. You get out what you put in. Ogden Psychological Services wants to help find a method that works best for you. Our skilled therapists can work with individuals that are hesitant and do not take sides.
Therapy With Ogden Psychological Services
Working with Ogden Psychological Services can treat more than just relationship strain. We work with people that have autism, those who have anxiety and depression, or who have experienced PTSD. Our therapists are highly educated and want to help you accomplish your personal goals through individualized plans.
Attending therapy can be overwhelming and will be hard, but the benefits of therapy will help your life become more meaningful. Therapy can improve your communication skills, improve your relationships, and give you a better outlook on hard situations. Ogden Psychological Services wants to improve your brain function and outlook on life. Contact us today to schedule an appointment or ask us any questions.