It is quite common to come across situations where one spouse shows interest in counselling and the other person does not seem to bother. Usually, this refusal stems from the spouse who is proving more difficult in the marriage. The adamant posture, which disregards the benefits of counselling during a marital crisis, can frustrate the willing partner who recognises its necessity for the progress and improvement of the marriage.
I understand that this situation can be discouraging for you, but I’d like to share some steps you can take when you are experiencing this roadblock with your partner.
Start by understanding that marriage is not about a 50-50 split; it’s about giving your all, a full 100 percent.
Even when your partner seems to be contributing only 30 percent, you are required to bring your best to the table. Admittedly, this can be a challenging task, as your natural inclination is to give 0 percent when your partner becomes completely unresponsive. For this reason, you should resist the urge to give up abruptly on your marriage because it will only create more difficulties and a total breakdown of the marriage in the long run.
Moreover, navigating this phase becomes even more arduous when you have no form of support, guidance, and knowledge. The absence of these crucial elements makes it tougher to handle the situation. It’s understandable to question why you should continue to put in the effort when your spouse isn’t reciprocating, but this brings me to my next point.
Every marriage has different seasons.
Just as we all experience different seasons in nature, our relationships also undergo different seasons—summer, winter, fall, or spring—and they all mean different things. There will be occasions when your spouse will be adamant while you will be willing, and there will be times when the roles are reversed.
These shifts can be due to misunderstandings, differing beliefs, external interference, and a range of other factors. However, it is crucial to remember that these seasons evolve. In the course of your marriage, there will also be moments when both of you are on the same wavelength, sharing common goals and aspirations. It’s during these times that the foundation of your marriage strengthens.
So, if you choose to withdraw your efforts when things are down, all the bonds you have built with your spouse during the good times would amount to waste, thereby giving room for a more turbulent marriage. It is important to approach your difficult seasons with a selfless, positive, and sacrificial mindset, viewing them as opportunities for personal growth and discovery.
Please note that this perspective does not pertain to a marriage ridden with abuse and complete neglect. Having identified the season your marriage is, you may need to troubleshoot it, to ascertain how it can work. So, how does this work in practice?
Troubleshoot the marriage from your end.
Take a moment to sit down and try to understand the root cause of the issues in your marriage. Look for those recurring patterns that emerge during conflicts and try to understand what lies beneath them. What are the specific areas of disagreement that seem to ignite tension between you and your spouse?
What habits have your spouse developed that are negatively affecting your home? Journal these patterns and look into how you can respond with empathy, acknowledging that change can be a real challenge for anyone.
Now let’s talk about leading differently in your marriage. Suppose you often find yourselves fighting about domestic chores in the home because your spouse may not have grown up with a sense of responsibility in that area. Instead of expecting your spouse to change all of a sudden, consider alternative solutions.
Delegate tasks, outsource some responsibilities, or get additional help in the home. Since some men were not brought up to understand the importance of shared responsibilities, forcing or expecting them (especially in their grown-up state) to change abruptly can be very hard. As such, while you await your spouse’s exposure to new knowledge, adjustment, and the changes you desire to see, minimise your stress by seeking temporary alternatives.
This approach will create a more peaceful atmosphere as both of you work together towards finding long-term solutions. Keep in mind that troubleshooting your marriage requires open and honest communication, as well as a willingness to make changes on both sides.
Seek a personal counselling session.
While I understand that a joint session may be your preference, but have you considered the incredible transformative power that comes with learning to embrace your true identity, finding healing from past hurts, and engaging with your spouse in a whole new way? It’s truly remarkable how these things can profoundly impact your marriage.
I remember a woman who had reached out to me for help when she found herself deeply perplexed by her marital situation. She had attempted to leave her home on two occasions. She sought knowledge and this helped her change how she approached certain issues in her marriage.
As a result, she has become more confident, emotionally secure, and adept at setting healthy boundaries. My point is this, counseling can initially be for you; it gives you room to address and deal with your flaws, with the hope that your visible transformation would encourage your spouse to come on board along the way.
Now, all of the approaches mentioned above are primarily applicable to marriages experiencing conflicts rather than physical abuse. If you are dealing with physical abuse, seeking professional help and prioritising your safety should be the immediate course of action.
In addition to the suggestion provided, I invite you to explore the insights presented in my book, “Untold Secrets That Wreck Marriages.” which you can find here: www.nikefolagbade.com/untoldsecrets. You will be amazed by the wealth of valuable information contained in the book that can assist in stabilising your marriage, even if your partner is not yet ready for counseling.
It takes two to tango quite alright but you can set a positive atmosphere within your home by introducing light into the current darkness you may be experiencing. You can reach me via email@example.com if you are ready to get started.