Embarking on the journey of couples counseling can be a transformative and healing experience for a relationship. However, what happens when one partner is resistant to the idea? In this blog post, we’ll explore practical and empathetic strategies to gently navigate this situation and foster a collaborative approach to couples counseling.

 Express Your Intentions Clearly:

  • Begin by expressing your desire for couples counseling with clarity and sincerity. Communicate your intentions from a place of love and concern for the well-being of the relationship rather than placing blame or creating a sense of urgency.

Choose an Appropriate Setting:

  • Find a comfortable and neutral setting to discuss the topic. Avoid bringing up couples counseling during a heated argument or stressful situation. The topic of couples counseling should be discussed as a hopeful and productive path forward, not treated as a threat called upon during a moment of conflict.  Opt for a calm moment where both partners can engage in open and honest dialogue without external pressures.

Share Your Feelings:

  • Articulate your feelings and concerns about the relationship. Use “I” statements to avoid sounding accusatory and emphasize your own emotions and experiences. This approach can help your partner understand the emotional significance of seeking counseling.

Highlight the Benefits:

  • Discuss the potential benefits of couples counseling, emphasizing personal growth, improved communication, and strengthened connection. Frame it as an opportunity for both partners to actively contribute to the health and longevity of the relationship. 

 Normalize Seeking Support:

  • Normalize the idea of seeking professional support by highlighting that many couples, even those in healthy relationships, find value in counseling. Stress that it’s not an admission of failure but rather a proactive step towards enhancing the relationship. 

 Explore Concerns Together:

  • Invite your partner to share their thoughts and concerns about couples counseling. Actively listen without judgment, and validate their feelings. Remember, even if you disagree with their perspective, it’s vital that you validate them.  Understanding their perspective creates a foundation for collaboration.  If you try to argue with them or otherwise force them to share your perspective, you’ll likely find yourselves both feeling defensive and locked in a standoff.  

 Offer to Research Together:

  • Propose researching potential therapists together. This collaborative approach allows both partners to have a say in selecting a therapist whose approach aligns with their preferences and values.  Therapists often offer free phone consultations prior to starting, which may help to alleviate some of their initial discomfort or hesitation. 

 Suggest a Trial Period:

  • Ease resistance by suggesting a trial period for couples counseling. Agree to a set number of sessions, and afterward, assess the impact on the relationship. This approach allows for a less intimidating commitment.


Approaching the topic of couples counseling with empathy, openness, and a collaborative spirit is essential when your partner is resistant. By creating a safe space for open dialogue, emphasizing the positive aspects of counseling, and offering a cooperative approach, you increase the likelihood of your partner being receptive to this transformative journey in strengthening your relationship. However, if your partner remains hesitant, consider seeking individual counseling for yourself. Individual therapy can provide valuable insights, coping strategies, and personal growth, even if your partner chooses not to participate. Remember, your well-being and personal development are important, and seeking support is a courageous step towards a healthier and more fulfilled life.


As always, please remember that this post, along with all of our blog posts, are meant as informational material only, and not to be considered a substitute  for treatment. 

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