“My spouse won’t go to counseling with me. What can I do?”

Emphasize to them just how much going together would mean to you. Let them know that you need their help. Without accusing, shaming or blaming, describe how the problem is affecting you. Explain your loss of sleep, poor appetite, feelings of depression, etc.

Assure your spouse that you want to fix the problem, not them. Let them know that you realize your marriage problems are not all their fault.

Agree on a counselor that is acceptable to you both.

Suggest to your spouse that they commit to just three sessions. They can then decide if they feel continuing would be helpful.

If the problems are disabling you, and your spouse still rejects counseling, you may need to say, “Unless you are willing to work on our problems together, we are going to have to separate for a while.” This is a most serious step to take and should be taken only after much thought and prayer.

Finally, if your spouse absolutely refuses to attend counseling with you, go for yourself.

by David Johnson, MSW

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