HARRIETTE COLE: Husband refuses to go to therapy with his wife | News

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DHARRIETTE EAR: I asked my husband to go to therapy with me, and you’d think I told him the earth is flat. He looked at me in disbelief and shook his head. He used to go to therapy before we met – for years! I saw him as a progressive person, as someone who is proactive in taking care of himself, inside and out. But after we met (many years ago), he said that was it, and he didn’t need therapy anymore.

My husband and I have fought over all kinds of things over the years. Every time I approach the way he talks to me – which I think is often rude and dismissive – he blows it off, saying I’m too sensitive. If I push back, everything escalates and it turns into a screaming match. So usually I swallow it. But I’m tired of doing this. I want things to be better, and I don’t know how to deal with it alone. We need help. How to get him to consult? – Need help

DEAR NEED HELP: Remind your husband of how he used to deal with the challenges he faced, including the fact that he chose to go to therapy years ago and said it had benefited him. Then recommend that you both go to therapy now. Explain that you think your relationship needs help getting back on track. Point out that the tone he often uses when talking to you makes you feel uncomfortable. Give him specific examples of conversations where you felt he was being mean or dismissive. Describe the moment vividly and distinctly, but unemotionally – if possible. Report the facts as you know them and how it made you feel. Also tell him that when you push back, he sinks deeper, which makes you more uncomfortable.

Appeal to your husband’s better nature. Tell him that you think professional counseling can help you both get to the bottom of whatever is bothering you centrally so you can deal with it.

Hopefully he will agree. Either way, you should go. Therapy will help you develop tools to deal with your challenges.

Harriet Cole is a life stylist and founder of DREAMLEAPERS, an initiative to help people access and activate their dreams. You can send questions to askharriette@harriettecole.com or c/o Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.

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