What to do if Your Partner Won't Go to Counseling

By

What to do if Your Partner Won't Go to Counseling
If your partner is uninterested, discover how going into counseling yourself can help.

"What should I do if my partner won't go to counseling?"

I often hear this from my clients. What are they really saying with this question?

 

Generally, they are saying something like:

"My unhappiness is coming from my partner's behavior," or "The problems in our relationship are my partners' fault," or "My partner needs to change for me to be okay."

As long as you believe any of these statements, then you will be focused on your partner's issues rather than on your own issues. In fact, focusing on your partner's behavior rather than on your own is a way of avoiding responsibility for your own feelings and needs.

So, if you are having relationship problems or you are feeling unhappy in the relationship and your partner won't go to counseling, then you go!

In counseling, you need to focus on your own thoughts and actions that are causing your unhappy feelings, rather on what your partner is doing. You need to be exploring the following questions:

  • How are you treating yourself that is causing you to feel unhappy?
     
  • How are you responding to your partner's behavior that is making you unhappy?
     
  • Are you being reactive to your partner's unloving behavior with your own unloving behavior, and then blaming your partner for your reactions?
     
  • Do you have expectations of how your partner should be if he or she really loves you, and then you feel disappointed because your expectations are not met? Do you need to reevaluate your expectation of your partner, which may be unrealistic?
     
  • Are you being realistic about who your partner is? Are you expecting your partner to be someone he or she is not or doesn't want to be?
     
  • Are you making your wellbeing dependent upon your partner?
     
  • Are you taking responsibility for yourself, or are you abandoning yourself in some way?

These are just some of the questions you might want to explore in your therapy.

One partner making a major change in a relationship can change the entire relationship. If you learn to take responsibility for your own feelings and needs, and make the changes you need to make yourself happy, then you will see whether or not you have a viable relationship. You might be surprised to find that, when you are happy within yourself and no longer have your eyes on your partner, he or she also changes. If, in response to your happiness, your partner gets more angry or distant, you might need to consider that your partner does not have your highest good at heart. At this point you would either need to accept things as they are, or leave the relationship.

This article was originally published at Inner Bonding . Reprinted with permission.
Article contributed by
Advanced Member

Dr. Margaret Paul

Author

Margaret Paul, Ph.D. is a best-selling author of 8 books, relationship expert, and co-creator of the powerful Inner Bonding® process - featured on Oprah, and recommended by actress Lindsay Wagner and singer Alanis Morissette. Are you are ready to heal your pain and discover your joy? Take our FREE Inner Bonding course, and click here for a FREE CD/DVD relationship offer. Visit our website at innerbonding.com for more articles and help, as well as our Facebook Page. Phone and Skype sessions available. Join the thousands we have already helped and visit us now!

Location: Pacific Palisades, CA
Credentials: PhD
Specialties: Anxiety Issues, Couples/Marital Issues, Depression
Other Articles/News by Dr. Margaret Paul:

Scream If You're OVER Being Your Partner's Therapist

By

One of the important things I learned in my own marriage and in my work with clients is that a committed relationship is NOT supposed to be a therapeutic relationship. We can help each other to learn, grow and heal, but this is very different than a therapeutic relationship. In a marriage, or close committed relationship or friendship, we can help each ... Read more

The Essential Guide To Romance vs Friendship

By

James, in his mid-30s, was ready to meet his life partner, get married and have children. After dating many women, he met Cindy. "She is really beautiful, although I'm not sure she's my type. But I think she is perfect for me. We have the same interests, the same values, we go to the same church and we both want children. My friends who meet ... Read more

Do You React Well To Irrational Behavior?

By

Ted's mother was often emotionally irrational. She would demand irrational things from him, such as telling him that it was his job to make her happy. She would cry and yell when he did anything for himself, claiming that he was selfish and making her miserable. Often, she would scream at him out of the blue, for seemingly no reason at all. Sometimes she ... Read more

See More

 
My Videos
ASK YOURTANGO MORE QUESTIONS
Must-see Videos
SEE MORE VIDEOS
Most Popular