• Honey Dahari, LMFT, MBA

Why Won't my Significant Other go to Couples Therapy?

If your partner does not want to come to therapy with you to help improve your relationship, you're not alone. Many individuals come for couples therapy without their significant other, when their loved one declines to join them. Therapy with one can still help improve a relationship. Here are the top 3 reasons why your partner may not want to join you in the therapy process:

  1. Fear: It is natural to be nervous, stressed, anxious, and even afraid of going to therapy. Opening up about personal troubles is hard! Taking that step and going to therapy takes a lot of courage.

  2. Acceptance: In order for someone to want to go to therapy, they first have to accept that there is some area that can be improved. It can take a while for anyone to truly accept that they are having relationship troubles. To be able to verbalize it takes time and tremendous strength! It takes a lot of time and internal strength to process the challenges and come to the conclusion that there is a problem.

  3. Patterns of Interaction: It is common for couples to fall into a pattern of interaction. With some couples, refusing to go to therapy may be part of this relational pattern. For example, one type of relationship pattern is the Pursuer and Distancer. If you are seeking therapy, your partner may be avoiding it (Distancing) and you encouraging attendance (Pursuing). This may be simply another manifestation of your relationship pattern.

Should these reasons keep you from trying therapy? Not at all! I have seen many times that therapy with an individual directed towards healing your relationship can help even if only one partner comes to therapy, because therapy can lead to positive change.

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