When couples are having problems in a relationship, it’s often recommended that they attend counseling as a couple. A marriage or relationship therapist, like a couples counselor in Palatine, IL, can help two people learn to communicate more effectively and work together to solve and resolve issues. What happens when both people in the relationship won’t attend couples counseling, though? Can one spouse go alone?
When Only One Person Works on the Relationship
Yes, one person can attend couples counseling alone, but the process does work better when both people are in counseling together. Many couples go into therapy together thinking that they will change the other person. Sometimes, people see couples counseling as a place to vent about problems. The truth is that counseling can teach the parties to recognize their own negative patterns in the relationship and to make positive changes. When one person attends counseling, it can benefit the relationship and may even save the marriage.
Why Won’t Your Partner Attend Counseling?
Will attending counseling without your partner save your marriage? That is the million-dollar question. In looking at whether counseling will help, you have to consider why your partner is apprehensive about therapy. What is keeping your spouse from working on the relationship?
Not everyone is comfortable sharing intimate details with a third party. Some people have had bad experiences in counseling. Your partner may even feel like a therapist won’t be able to help. The problems may be too overwhelming. Therapy will benefit one person by helping you create positive change. Therapy can show you what a healthy relationship looks like. You can change your own behavior to be more engaged in the relationship or to set boundaries with your spouse. In therapy, you may learn to approach sticky situations with your partner to help you deal with the problems in a less threatening way.
Therapy Can Help You
If your partner has already checked out of your relationship, therapy may not save it. Marriage counseling isn’t recommended for people who are dealing with domestic violence or abuse. Keep in mind that even if the relationship ends, if you have children together, you will still have to deal with your partner for years to come, even as the kids grow up. Solo therapy can help you identify your issues and deal with them.
Couples therapy may not save your relationship, even if both people were to attend. What therapy can do is give you peace of mind knowing that you tried to do everything you could to save the relationship.
Thanks to Lotus Wellness Center for their insight into whether you need to go to marriage counseling with your partner to help your relationship grow.