What to Do When Your Husband Refuses Therapy? Try These Tips

by Gideon Hanekom
March 18, 2022

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In this post, we’ll look at a few ideas or suggestions for what to do when your husband refuses therapy.

First and foremost, I’d like to emphasise that if your husband refuses therapy, you may find yourself in a difficult situation.

I’ve worked with a number of couples in the past who were in this situation, and it’s always a difficult process for everyone involved.

In the same way that many other women do, you may find yourself at a loss for what to do next, and that’s perfectly understandable.

Despite this, however, there are some steps you can take to help improve your relationship situation, and you can even encourage your husband to seek therapy with you in the end.

husband refuses therapy

Now, we understand that ALL relationships necessitate a certain amount of maintenance in order to keep the fire burning.

The question is, what if your spouse refuses to work on the relationship or even acknowledges that the marriage requires improvement?

Is it a lost cause if you’re the only one trying to make your marriage work?

No, this is not always the case.

Even if your partner is unwilling to participate in couples counselling, there are still strategies you can employ to strengthen your relationship.

And if you’re having trouble improving your relationship without your partner’s cooperation, the suggestions in the following section may be of help.

Tips for when Your husband refuses marriage counseling

When your husband refuses marriage counseling, it can be extremely frustrating.

Perhaps you believe that you are doing something wrong or that he is uninterested in the relationship, and it is perfectly acceptable to feel that way.

So, here’s what I’d suggest you do instead:

Start therapy without them

Even if your husband refuses to accompany you to therapy, it is possible and acceptable for you to proceed with the counselling session on your own behalf.

husband refuses therapy

It is possible for you to be the one who initiates change in your relationship.

You can still make progress in therapy if you learn new approaches to dealing with your relationship difficulties.

And afterwards, discuss these ideas with your partner outside of therapy sessions.

When you begin to make changes in your own life, there is always the possibility that you will be able to influence your spouse at the same time.

And, as a result of this, your partner may become interested in your personal changes, what you’re learning, and even decide to accompany you.

This has happened a number of times with coaching clients in the past.

However, therapy isn’t the only option here.

It should be noted that therapy does not have to be limited to traditional marriage counselling; you can also,

Try therapy alternatives

Traditional therapy may be beneficial, but it is not the only option available for restoring your relationship’s health.

There are a variety of options available.

As an alternative, you could look for a mutual friend or family member who would be willing to serve as a mentor for both of you.

The importance of finding an unbiased third party who understands your relationship, who you both trust and respect, and who is willing to get involved cannot be overemphasized.

husband refuses therapy

You can also decide to work on your issues together on a weekly basis by meeting for coffee and having discussions.

These weekly meetings may provide you with the opportunity to focus on specific aspects of your relationship.

This is something that my wife and I have used successfully on numerous occasions in the past.

You could, in addition to therapy, benefit from learning some basic skills such as how to…

Reframe your arguments

One of the most common complaints among couples is that they seem to be having the same arguments over and over again with no apparent resolution to their differences.

As a result, rather than getting sucked into yet another angry and resentful argument about dishes or children, take a step back and figure out how you can make some changes.

Remember, no matter how thinly you slice it, it takes two people to have a disagreement.

You can, however, refuse to participate in the argument or discuss the issue until your partner is ready to work on the relationship as a result of your refusal to participate.

To be clear, we’re not talking about avoiding problems here; rather, we’re talking about establishing healthy boundaries in your relationship and communicating your expectations to one another.

husband refuses therapy

Following on from that, if you believe that your marriage requires improvement but your husband refuses therapy, your situation can quickly become hostile and negative.

Consequently, even if your relationship is in need of improvement, it’s always important to remember that unless it feels good to be in your relationship, one or both of you will struggle to find the motivation to make improvements.

So don’t skimp on the critical element of instilling optimism into your relationship, as your marriage is bound to suffer as long as there is a general feeling of happiness in the air.


Do things you both enjoy

Your partner may not want to talk about or deal with your relationship problems, but they may be willing to join you in a hobby or favourite activity if you express an interest in doing so.

As a matter of fact, this occurs quite frequently in my experience, especially given the fact that men and women tend to respond differently to stress and relationship difficulties.

My writings on the subject of men wanting to walk away (escape) and women wanting to talk have been extensively analysed.

As a result, spending time together doing something you both enjoy may very well encourage your husband to open up about his own difficulties.

Whether you and your partner enjoy fishing, swimming, or painting, enjoyable activities have the ability to bring you back together.

husband refuses therapy

However, the most important thing is to do things that you both enjoy.

If one of you despises cooking or the other despises dancing, then these types of activities are more likely to backfire than they are to succeed.

As a result, look for activities that you and your partner will both enjoy and then participate in them together.

Positive shared time can make a significant difference in the quality of your marriage and life overall.

And, as I previously stated, you may even discover new approaches to resolving your relationship difficulties as a result of these activities.

It is possible that you will discover previously undiscovered strengths, courage, and ideas.

You might even come to the conclusion that you’re ready to give yourself another chance to find solutions that are effective for you.

Take Away

Relationships involve ongoing effort and commitment on both sides.

However, if your spouse is unwilling to participate in therapy or to work on your relationship, you do have other options.

Start with the suggestions in this post, as they may be just what you need to rekindle your romance.

About the author 

Gideon Hanekom

Gideon Hanekom is the creator of TheRelationshipGuy.com, a renowned relationship blog that ranked among the top 50 relationship blogs and top 100 marriage blogs in 2021. The blog is dedicated to providing valuable insights on cultivating healthy relationships and love in daily life. Gideon holds a Master's degree in theological studies and transitioned into professional counseling almost a decade ago. In addition, he completed graduate and post-graduate studies in Psychology at Massey University. With over seventeen years of marriage to his wife and two children, Gideon brings both professional and personal experience to his relationship advice. His articles have been featured on respected platforms such as Marriage.com and The Good Men Project.

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