Wife won't ever get counseling...now what - Talk About Marriage
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-22-2013, 01:05 AM Thread Starter
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Wife won't ever get counseling...now what

Looking for some advice as I have no one else to talk to about this.

Background:My wife and I have had issues for years, in my opinion. In her opinion, things are fine. Neither of us have good family backgrounds to judge by.

I have sought counseling for my personal issues but she refuses to do this for herself or for our marriage.

I have come to the realization that I love who she can be but not who she is most of the time. Further, I feel like I am only here still because of our kids. I know this is headed to divorce eventually if things remain as they are.

If I have said all this how do I get her to finally step up to counseling without me actually leaving?

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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-22-2013, 07:45 AM
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Re: Wife won't ever get counseling...now what

You can't force her to counseling and believe me you don't want to force it either. It is a waste of time and money if she walks through the session door without being on board. No therapist will be able to make meaningful changes, or help her make those changes.
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-22-2013, 08:23 AM Thread Starter
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You can't force her to counseling and believe me you don't want to force it either. It is a waste of time and money if she walks through the session door without being on board. No therapist will be able to make meaningful changes, or help her make those changes.
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-22-2013, 08:25 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Wife won't ever get counseling...now what

Anon, thanks for the reply. Here's my question in response, then what? Do I just quit and move out? Hire an attorney? There is no other third party to go thru on this so I there is no good way to try and get a conversation going then I'm out of options.
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-28-2013, 09:22 PM
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Re: Wife won't ever get counseling...now what

I think it is fair to say, "I am not happy with where we are at. I want us very much to work on the marriage. I have asked you before to go to counseling. It is very important to me, and since things haven't changed at all since I asked you said no, I think we are at a crossroads. I think we either need to go to counseling and talk through our issues or I think we need to talk to an attorney about ending the marriage."

Put the ball in her court. Don't threaten, but lay it out there in a calm way. Be prepared to follow through on either account though.

I do agree with Pink though that there's a good chance the counseling may not be helpful if she is completely resistant to it. But there is a chance that she doesn't realize you feel like things are as bad as they are.

Good luck to you.

~ChangingMe, former wayward wife
Thankfully still married to DevastatedDad


We cannot start over, but we can begin now, and make a new ending. -Zig Ziglar
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-18-2013, 10:03 AM
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Re: Wife won't ever get counseling...now what

It is not uncommon for one partner to be interested in seeking support and their spouse be unwilling. You are 50% of your relationship and by seeking support for yourself, you can still have an impact (even if it's to ultimately learn how to separate amicably). And, sometimes, seeing the improvements in their spouse is enough to convince the doubting partner to participate as well. I recently discussed this issue here: Maximize on Your 50% In Your Corner

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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-05-2013, 12:17 PM
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Re: Wife won't ever get counseling...now what

This is always a tough one. In a way counseling is like marital mediation. We are having a difficult time, invite and pay for the wisdom of an experienced third party to help us correct our own behavior and make the marriage better.

During a divorce we seek counsel to help us mediate the division of the marriage assets.

Funny how some people go running to a lawyer when they need help with things they could understand better rather than a marital counsellor. The lawyer is what your wife will need when you get divorced.

I'd ask her why she is so hesitant to seek counsel that will ultimately improve the relationship. The only reason I can think of is she happy with the way things are and why do you need to rock the boat.

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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-04-2013, 11:56 AM
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Re: Wife won't ever get counseling...now what

Rockandhardplace:

I agree with ChangingMe. Sit her down and let her know where the marriage is headed. I would have given anything for my ex-spouse to have given me that opportunity. My spouse on the other hand gave me the ole "It's not you, it's me speech" and then started an affair. Then refused to go to counseling after I found out about the affair. He just threw 27 years of marriage out to the trash pile and I'm not sure what went wrong. Especially since 29 days before our separation he gave me an Anniversary card wherein he wrote "Can't wait to spend the next 27 years with you."

Just make sure your spouse hears you loud and clear about the consequences.
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-28-2013, 10:11 PM
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Wife won't ever get counseling...now what

OP,

Not sure if you are still here, but here goes:

I have made the crossroads clear a few times. Given her time to follow through on find an IC (I have been seeing mine for 1.5 months). Given her lists of potential therapists. No action.

I have reiterated that her anger and resentment is something I can not fix, and pointed out how it pollutes our daily existences. She agrees, then no action. She also protests that I am telling her she is the one that needs to change (I reiterate we both need to change whatever we need to change, and my IC is evidence I am working on me).

She refuses to own anything. I am giving up soon.

"We are only here briefly, and in this moment I want to allow myself joy." -- Amy, from Spike Jonze's "Her"
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-28-2013, 10:34 PM
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Re: Wife won't ever get counseling...now what

Whether she goes to counseling or not you can have more influence than you probably realize in your home. You can get some counseling and training and use your new skills to avoid hostility, increase communication effectiveness, and generally make your home at least more pleasant and productive than it currently is. Might make the difference between an intolerable situation and am imperfect yet bearable one. You have kids. That could mean the difference between having kids full time and a very unsatisfying every-other-weekend arrangement. Nobody fights by themselves (ok, crazy people can, but the rest of us don't). If you fix you, you've solved at least half the problem, not only with your wife, but in every other relationship in your life. Counseling might help you understand her better so you can use a little stealth instead of stomping around in her mine fields. You'll still have disagreements, but with training you can learn to have productive ones and avoid the useless kind which are only loud, unpleasant, hurtful affairs.

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