Relationships in which love, trust, respect and effort are mutual are defined as "ideal relationships". Even the most ideal relationships have conflicts from time to time, and these conflicts, under the right circumstances, are a healthy part of a healthy relationship. However, if compelling problems such as loss of trust, constant miscommunication, cheating, border problems towards families, and decreased love and respect lead to endless arguments, going to couples therapy may become a great need for the future of the relationship.

As therapists, we often hear the following sentence from our clients: I want to go to couples therapy, but my partner never accepts it. At this point, it may be necessary to determine why your partner does not favor couples therapy.

So what could be the reason for your partner not wanting to attend couples therapy?

1. If you put pressure on your partner to go to couples therapy, especially in discussions, and give an ultimatum (for example, saying "I'll break up with you if we don't go to therapy"), your partner may perceive couple therapy as a kind of "punishment". Instead, honestly telling your partner why you need couple therapy and why it's important to you can help them view the therapy in a positive light.

2. Your partner may not want to go to couple therapy because they don't want to talk about "intimate" matters with a stranger. Your partner may believe that it will not be beneficial for your relationship to talk to a stranger about topics that they cannot yet discuss openly and easily with you. However, the main purpose of couple therapy is to help couples solve problems by handling them in a healthy way.

3. Your partner may be worried about fighting and being humiliated in front of the therapist. The purpose of therapy is not simply to voice complaints; the main purpose is to get help for the problems in your relationship as a couple. In fact, therapy can provide the safe space for both parties to express feelings and thoughts without being attacked.

4. Your partner may be worried that the therapist will "take sides". When a therapist takes a couple as applicants, the therapist is responsible for the couple, not a single partner. In other words, a good therapist will listen to and care about the perspectives of both partners.

5. Your partner may have had a bad therapy experience in the past. It is important to remember that every therapist is different. In addition, applicants always have the right to leave therapy or work with a different therapist. Therapy will only work when both partners feel safe.

6. Your partner may think that couples therapy is only for couples who are about to break up. Needing couples therapy doesn't mean your relationship is "bad". Couple therapy also ensures that relationships continue in good health without reaching the point of no return. Therefore, resorting to couples therapy before things reach the end can improve and strengthen your relationship.



Elif Başçelik Yavuz

Expert Clinical Psychologist