Behavioral Health Consultant, Trainer and EAP Manager

Seattle, Washington

Husband Won’t Agree to Therapy

Question: My wife wants us to come in and see you. It’s nothing personal, you understand, but… Well, actually it IS personal! That’s just it. I keep my private stuff private, thankyouverymuch. OK in all seriousness, my objection really is that I just don’t think it can help. Already, we talk about problems and all it does is get us more entangled. The way I see it, the problem is in how we try to solve problems. She gets repetitive, I get defensive, and we go in painful circles. So when go see a therapist, this is just going to intensify. I’d rather drill my own teeth.


Dude, have it your way. I’ll ask your wife to come in anyway. I can do couples therapy with an individual. Family therapists tend to be better at doing individual therapy with relationship improvement as a goal, while oftentimes other therapists will reinforce a client’s self-interest and relationships can suffer. So I can see her without you and you need not worry that we are fomenting trouble.

But we can do better by your marriage if you come in with her. And it will reduce pain, not increase it.

Alright, I’ll be honest here. If you come in with your wife, yes – it will force conversations you might otherwise wish to avoid. But here’s the thing: it will force a different process within those conversations. Usually it doesn’t take very long for me to see how two well-intended people are getting completely sideways with each other. Then, it’s a matter of all of us seeing how it is happening. We take a breath, then I have the two of you go about it differently. I could go into much more detail but suffice it to say, if you can agree to give it a try, you should find that it is worth your while.

Still doubtful?  Call me up

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