An Unwilling Participant

A man recently called me because he and his wife were having marital problems. His wife was refusing to come to marriage counseling, but he still wanted to see me individually to improve his marriage. I told him that if he brought in specific examples, I could coach him how to be more effective with his wife.

However, I thought how unfortunate it is to be in a relationship with a partner who is unwilling to work on the marriage. Being able to talk through incidents and issues in a relationship is the hallmark of a successful couple.

There are several reasons partners refuse to participate in marriage counseling. Sometimes partners have checked out. They don’t have enough will or desire to improve their relationship. A second reason is that partners don’t see themselves as part of the problem. They tend to blame their spouses for their marital problems and are unwilling to look at themselves—not realizing they could be part of the solution.

I thought it was sad having a partner who was unwilling to work on their marriage.