October 13, 2021

My Partner Won’t Do Couples Counseling. What Do I Do?

This blog post explores some of the reasons individuals are resistant to couples counseling and what to do about it.

By Annie Wright|Adulting, Relationship
My Partner Won't Do Couples Counseling. What Do I Do?

Even great relationships sometimes experience turbulent periods and each half of a couple may have different ways of working through issues with their partner.

If you have recently run into relationship concerns and you have brought up couples counseling as a solution, you may be surprised and disappointed that your partner is reluctant to attend sessions with you.

There are several reasons why an individual may be resistant to couple’s counseling, so it’s a good idea to get to the bottom of the issue by communicating with your partner.

Talking about counseling, addressing concerns with your partner, and discussing your reasons for wanting to speak to a counselor may help ease some of his/her/their apprehensions.

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Why Is My Partner Resistant To Couples Counseling?

There are several possible factors that may have led to your partner being reluctant to go to couple’s counseling with you.

For one, movies and television often portray couple’s counseling as a last resort for couples whose dysfunction is reaching a breaking point.

If your partner doesn’t believe your relationship is in trouble but views couple’s counseling in this manner, this person may not see that counseling will “fit” your needs.

Additionally, your partner may feel uncomfortable with sharing what they consider to be personal issues with someone outside of the relationship.

Your partner may also worry that you’re going to say things in sessions that will make them look bad, and they fear that the counselor will agree.

There are many misconceptions floating around that may make a person resistant to couple’s counseling, so it’s important to address them appropriately.

Can I Convince My Partner?

When it comes to any issue in a relationship, effective communication is an excellent solution.

If your partner does not want to attend couple’s counseling, it’s in the best interest of both of you to talk about why that is.

Your partner may have concerns that you can easily address and resolve, or you may be able to come up with a compromise in order to improve your relationship.

For example, if your partner is afraid of being attacked during therapy, you can explain that the point of therapy is not to change either partner, but to encourage communication in a safe environment.

Explain that counseling does not have to be permanent or stressful, but can help couples come up with improvement strategies that can help build a stronger relationship.

Talking at length about these concerns can help you shed light on whether your partner is worried about counseling itself, or he/she/they do not want to take steps to improve your partnership at all.

My Partner Is Rigidly Refusing To Work with Me

Dealing with a partner who is resistant to couple’s counseling and dealing with one who refuses to change at all are two different situations.

While resistance to therapy can be difficult, there are a few solutions you can present that may help your partner warm up to the idea.

  • Talk about your issues in a non-confrontational manner
  • Choose a time when and where both of you can offer your undivided attention
  • Try to come up with solutions together about what you can do to improve your relationship
  • Explain what your goals are for the relationship
  • Note how the current problems are getting in the way of those goals
  • Mention that couple’s counseling can help the two of you develop healthy habits

A partner that refuses to hear you out or make any effort toward improvement, on the other hand, can be far more difficult to deal with.

If your partner won’t listen to what you have to say or dismisses your concerns about your relationship, it might be worth seeking therapy services as an individual.

This way, you can determine what your next course of action may be.

When it comes to considering a future with a partner who will not make any effort to change, it may be necessary to ask yourself more serious questions.

  • Is this issue temporary, or will it be the end of us if we don’t resolve it?
  • Why do I want to stay with this person?
  • What would happen if I separated from this person?
  • Is there any possible resolution to the issues we’re facing?

Whether you can or can’t convince your partner to attend couple’s counseling with you, it may be in your best interest to attend.

Our clinicians at Evergreen Counseling are experienced in couple’s counseling and approach relationship issues with kindness and respect for both parties.

Couples counseling is an invaluable resource that can help you make sense of the way your past informs current behaviors, and assist you in building new habits as a couple.

If you’d like to seek support for your relationship concerns, you’re welcome to contact our offices as soon as you’re ready. We’ve helped many people struggling with their relationships, and we would be honored to help you and your partner too.

Please feel free to book a complimentary 20-minute consultation with one of our licensed therapists if you know who you would like to work with, or you can book a consult call with our center’s clinical intake coordinator who will match you to the best-fitting therapist for your clinical and logistical needs.

Medical Disclaimer

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