Does Your Partner Refuse to Engage in Couples Counseling?
Does your partner avoid conflict or say the problems in your relationship are all your fault? Is your partner dragging their feet or flat out refusing to talk to you about your relationship issues? Are you tired of your partner refusing to discuss the idea of getting help together? Do you feel desperate to make things better, while your partner seems to not be doing much of anything to improve the relationship? Are you wondering why it's your responsibility to make things better in the relationship while they put in little or no effort? Perhaps your partner acknowledges that they play a part in the contributing to the relationship problems, but is still reluctant or unwilling to pursue couples counseling. Do you find yourself wondering if going at this alone will have any impact at all on your relationship?
Relationship Troubles Can Make You Feel Alone, Unhappy and Resentful
Many loving, committed couples find themselves in a situation where one partner is motivated to tackle problems within the relationship while the other partner is hesitant (or even completely unwilling) to do the same. There is a tendency for the more distressed partner to initiate therapy, and if this is you, I admire your courage. It can be tough to comprehend your partner’s hesitation, especially when it appears obvious that something needs to happen ASAP before the issues further damage or completely disintegrate the relationship. Reluctant partners are often worried that they will be blamed for the issues in the relationship or are terrified that actually discussing them will either make things worse or end the relationship. It may be that your partner tends to avoid conflict or uncomfortable conversations in general, so the idea of getting vulnerable with a third person in the room is downright frightening.
Unfortunately, I’ve met plenty of people who waited too long before seeking professional help because they thought couples therapy would only work if both partners attended. You might be surprised to learn that as long as both of you are committed to the relationship, your partner’s apparent reluctance/unwillingness to address problems does not have to serve a barrier to making things better between the two of you. Curious yet?
It is definitely difficult to be the only motivated partner and it takes a lot of effort to not get discouraged and disappointed when your partner is hesitant or refuses to participate in couples counseling. You may have started feeling resentful toward your partner and wonder if it’s even possible for you to change the relationship without your partner’s participation and support. I can help you create a happier, healthier relationship even if your partner is hesitant or unwilling to make changes.
Of course, it’s optimal when both partners are directly involved in the therapeutic process, but when that’s not an option, couples therapy for one can provide tremendous help. Your relationship problems won’t ever just “go away” on their own, so you need to turn things around now. Unresolved problems can, over time, strain a relationship to the point where irreparable damage is done. Don’t let this happen to you.
Relationship Counseling For One Can Help You See Real Improvements in Your Relationship
The good news is that change is both scary and exciting and that people change when they are open to the possibilities of change. Everyone’s change process is different and requires unique navigation skills. During our sessions, we will focus on identifying the strengths that already exist in your relationship, while expanding your interactional patterns to be more effective and fun (yes, fun!). The key to a healthy relationship is learning how to become a happier person from within, instead of expecting your partner to create happiness for you. When you focus on the changes you can make rather than focusing on what your partner is not doing or doing wrong, you’re able to create the perfect environment for loving connection and enormous change. Even creating small shifts in how you relate to yourself and your partner can lead to a happier and healthier relationship over time.
I’ll work with you one on one to improve your relationship. You will learn to better understand the role your actions play in creating and maintaining the conflict and/or disconnection in your relationship. I will teach you how to productively manage or resolve current and past recurring conflicts. You know, the fights that happen over and over and over again? You will learn how to effectively communicate your concerns and needs to your partner in ways that he or she can actually understand and be able to meet them. Together, we will uncover alternative ways to get your needs met – things that you probably have never considered – all while healing past hurts and resentments. As you figure out how to authentically bring back joy and affection to your relationship, you can simultaneously rebuild emotional and physical intimacy with your partner. Sound good?
You may be wondering if relationship counseling for one could work for you and your relationship, but still have some questions or concerns…
I’m still confused about how individual therapy can help my relationship.
It might seem counterintuitive to go to therapy alone to address issues in your relationship. Conventional wisdom stresses that relationships can only be helped when both partners are present to work on the issues. Many of my clients have found that couples counseling with only one partner is still highly effective as long as they are both committed to being in the relationship. There is this delicate dance that happens in a relationship that, when one person actively works on changing how they interact with their partner, the other partner, (even if they are not actively participating in improving the relationship) is influenced and will often begin to make positive changes as a result. In other words, what you do can influence how your partner shows up in your relationship. How fantastic is that? People often assume that their relationship can only be helped if both partners are motivated to make things better. Don’t make this mistake.
My partner will eventually decide to participate in couples counseling if I start off alone, right?
I hear this question the most from individuals who make the courageous choice to work on their relationship without their partner present. While it would be inaccurate to assume or expect that your partner will join you in couples therapy, your commitment to actively work on the relationship can sometimes become contagious and inspire your partner to join you in therapy. It’s lovely to watch individuals whose hesitant or resistant partner became more interested in participating in the therapy process because they saw their partner’s tenacious effort in improving the relationship.
I want save my relationship, but my partner wants to divorce or separate. Can I make this happen by coming to therapy alone?
Counseling specifically designed to salvage and repair your relationship will not be effective if your partner has unquestionably committed to the idea of ending the relationship. If this is where you find yourself, I can help you peacefully exit the relationship and gently support you in adjusting to the challenges of transitioning to a life without your partner. You can learn more about this type of counseling by checking out the healthy separation/divorce page of this website.
If you still have questions about relationship therapy for one, I invite you to call for a free 15-minute phone consultation. We can discuss whether we’d be a good fit to work together and how relationship counseling for one can help get your relationship on track before it’s too late.
I offer a free 15 minute phone consultation for individuals who want to discuss how relationships counseling for one can help. Call me at 714-390-1652 or email me here to schedule a time to speak and together we can discover what you need to get back on track before it's too late.