Couples therapy is a great option when both people are on board. But what happens when one resists? Check out our (new!) weekly advice column to find out.
I want to do couples therapy but my boyfriend is totally against it!
He says it’s too expensive and he doesn’t need counseling, there’s nothing wrong with him.
But, we need it. How do I get him to go?
Dear Counsel Seeker,
This is a very common struggle with couples, one partner is open to counseling and desiring it and their counterpart is not. Knowing we cannot force anyone to do anything they don’t want to do for themselves, means we are always empowered to not only lead by example, but to also do what we need to do for ourselves, regardless. Many people have a perception about counseling, that a third party stranger will be judging you while in a vulnerable state and that it means there is something “wrong” with you. All they truly need is a change in perspective and it’s one that you can lovingly assist them in finding, without any pressure or judgment on their feelings.
Cultivating a positive perspective around counseling, especially couples therapy, can be as easy as creating an analogy that resonates with your partner. Let’s say they are a mechanic, would they recommend to a customer to ignore the upkeep of their vehicle, never take it in to get serviced, to work on the vehicle themselves without any knowledge or expertise as to what needs some attention and improvement? Or would a sport’s team be able to make it to a championship without a proper coach?
Perceiving a counselor as a tool in your toolbox, someone who is more knowledgeable than you on emotional and psychological health, whose purpose is to support and guide you to greater happiness and healing, providing you with new tools and insights to support YOUR goals can be the difference between someone who is on board with the process and someone who is against it. Many people feel adverse to the idea of counseling because they don’t realize that their adversity stems from fear. Whether a fear of being judged, exposed, having to face internal struggles and aspects of themselves they don’t want to admit, or a fear of connecting to their emotions, there may be something operating on a deeper level that keeps them closed to the opportunity of growth through counseling.
Don’t wait around for your partner to do something that would benefit you and your relationship, especially if you desire it. If you feel inclined to see a counselor, do it! You may inspire him to become more open to the idea of joining you, as he experiences the positive change and support it provides you.
If your partner isn’t at least open to exploring ways of deepening and strengthening your relationship to be the best it can be and to grow together, you may grow apart as one stays stuck while the other evolves. There are also many organizations that provide counseling on a sliding scale fee so it doesn’t have to be an expensive investment, as well as a plethora of healing modalities available, depending on what resonates with you both!
Always do what you need to do in order to support your own journey and your health and happiness within it. If your partner remains uninspired to join you, then you are still giving yourself the love you deserve and the space to grow in the ways you need to, regardless.
Inspire what you desire,
Dear Reader: do you have any dating or relationship questions for Alisa? Yes? Excellent! Send us a love note to [email protected] with the subject line: DEAR ALISA and have a happy day!