For some couples, marriage counseling can help save their marriages, but
getting to counseling can be half the battle. If a marriage is strained
and headed towards
divorce, the spouse who wants marriage counseling may have a difficult time getting
their spouse to seek the help they need.
If a marriage is strained, why would a spouse refuse to go to counseling?
Does it mean their marriage is doomed for divorce? There are different
reasons why a spouse would refuse to go. “We don’t need counseling”
or “Our marriage is not that bad off.” Those are denial responses.
In truth, if you’re asking your spouse to go to counseling with
you, your marriage is probably in worse shape than your spouse thinks.
You are clearly suffering enough to ask for help, and you are hurting so
much that you need to do something. Your spouse should be willing to tackle
the problem head-on to make your marriage work. In other words, if you
have a problem, your spouse has a problem, and they cannot sweep it under
the rug and expect it to go away.
My spouse says we can’t afford it. Many couples, especially on Long Island, can afford dining out, gym memberships,
daily trips to Starbucks, designer clothes, nice cars, and luxurious vacations.
If your spouse says that you can’t afford counseling, does that
mean they can live with the outcome? Could their priorities be mixed up?
My spouse has too much pride. A possible factor is pride that could be stopping your spouse from seeking
help. We’ve seen many marriages fall apart because one spouse was
too prideful or narcissistic and refused to fix their marital problems.
If your spouse refuses to see a counselor with you because they don’t
want anyone to meddle in your personal life or because they fear embarrassment,
they’re too proud. Pride can stop your marriage from progressing.
Nothing can move beyond it because pride stands in the way of finding
and employing real solutions.
Should I file for divorce and seek counseling? If your spouse flat out refuses to see a marriage counselor, you always
have the option of filing for divorce and seeing a counselor by yourself.
In fact, many divorcing spouses cope with the divorce better when they
see a counselor during and after the divorce process.
While you cannot change your spouse, you can change yourself. One of the
best ways to deal with a divorce is to focus on self-improvement and develop
a positive attitude about your changing dynamics and your future. A counselor
can help you accomplish these goals.