The most difficult thing during the divorce is communication between partners. The divorce counseling for couples is an excellent idea, but many find it very hard to make their spouse participate in counseling.
On the other hand, there are those married couples that look perfect and you can never see them fight. You think there is nothing wrong in their relationship, but all of a sudden they say “we are going to get a divorce”. Their divorce will probably go smoothly even without therapy, but the couples unable to fix their problems peacefully will have to go for divorce counseling.
Knowing that the divorce is not a very friendly deed to do, it is often very problematic for one of the partners. So much so, actually, that the partner who doesn’t want to divorce, refuses to see a therapist.
How to make your spouse participate?
Divorce is not easy, and if your partner doesn’t want to come to therapy with you because it’s unimportant for him, be sure that when the divorce comes, it will be much harder.
First, don’t be scared. Never show your partner that the divorce or the counseling is scaring you. If you show fear and insecurity about it, the other person will always feel like he or she doesn’t have to do what you ask. The reason for this, among the others, is that the other person is also scared. No one likes getting divorced because no one got into marriage thinking how the divorce will look like in the first place. So when it comes to divorce counseling, everyone is scared.
Second, know your partner well. Be sure that actions you take towards him, will be effective. For example, If you are a woman, and your partner is a “macho” flirting man, make sure you find a therapist that is an attractive woman. Sure, this may sound sexist, or look like you are only going deeper with problems in your marriage, but therapists are professionals and have probably worked with more difficult people. The roaring lion will be tamed and become a kitty with time.
Third, try to reason with him. The good method, of course, must be tried. It will probably be difficult since your partner rejects your idea for therapy, but try to reason with him anyway. “Dear, you must see that we have problems which we can’t resolve on our own, let a professional help us”.
Rarely a marriage gets to a divorce because only one of the partners was not committed enough to the relationship, so be sure that your partner doesn’t see you like you are the best of both worlds. It doesn’t matter if you can’t see any flaws in yourself, use this sentence just to persuade: “I’m part of the problem too, let’s find a solution together”.
If positive methods fail, try a more tactical approach. Explain how the counseling is extremely important, not for you, but for the kids. If you don’t have kids, use a little imagination and find a good reason to make your spouse believe that the counseling needs to be done. “Honey, put our problems aside, we need to do this for the kids. You love little Mickey, don’t you?” – is a good persuasive sentence and is not even far from the truth. The kids are most important.
In the end, if nothing works and you think that divorce is inevitable, don’t lose hope. See a therapist on your own. There are plenty of therapy methods for men and women alone, and counseling for mixed-agenda couples is now done on a regular basis.