I often find myself doing Couples Counseling with only one of the partners because the other one doesn’t want to attend. Some of the ‘no show’ partner’s reasons are:
“You’re the one with the problem so fix yourself and we’ll be fine.”
“I don’t want anyone to know our personal business.”
“We’ve already tried couples counseling and it doesn’t work.”
“We should be able to figure this out ourselves.”
“I don’t believe in counseling.”
“We’re doing fine. There’s nothing wrong.”
I understand it’s not always easy to make choices different than your partner’s. However, when you learn how to value yourself more and start setting loving boundaries, you give your partner the opportunity to make different choices. Your partner may stop trying to control you with anger, criticism, giving you the silent treatment or by blaming you when he/she realizes you’re not going to allow yourself to be around any unloving behavior from anyone. And that includes your partner. You may also find that once your partner sees your joy and confidence, he/she may want to have a similar experience.
Remember what is truly loving to yourself is always truly loving to your partner. This is true even if your partner doesn’t agree, approve or like how you’re taking care of yourself.