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I've been married for seven years to a man I love. We get along fine, most of the time. No arguing or fighting, but sometimes my husband feels withdrawn, and I don't feel the same spark between us that we used to have. I found a therapist we could see, but my husband doesn't want to go. He won't tell me why and doesn't want to talk about it. I'm frustrated and sad and feeling helpless... Not sure we can make things better without talking. How can I get him to go to therapy with me? - Dragging Him to Therapy
I’m glad you’re acknowledging your feelings rather than avoiding them; as avoidance often leads to unhappiness. I agree that talking with each other is essential to reconnecting with your husband. While he doesn’t want to discuss seeing a therapist, he may be more responsive to a discussion about your feelings.
I suggest approaching your husband when you’re getting along well. Reassure him that you love him, then find a kind way to share your needs. Focus not on what’s wrong, but on what you want to feel. The emotional intimacy, physical attraction, closeness, and spark you used to have—you miss those things. Hopefully, he’ll connect with those feelings and open up. If so, therapy may not even be necessary. A good heart-to-heart goes a long way.
If you’re still not connecting, then I do think you two could benefit from marriage counseling. Be honest with your husband that without improved communication, the relationship may not last. If he resists, remind him weekly of how important it is to you. It may help to write him a letter so he can react in his own time, or let him choose the therapist himself. But always be gentle. Coercing, pressuring, blaming, and highlighting the negative will only make him feel forced or defensive. Instead focus on your feelings, your need for closeness, and your desire get the love back—together.
Hopefully he’ll come around soon. If not, tell him you’re going to your own therapy… and then go. If he’s intrigued and asks what you’re discussing in therapy, be honest. Let him know how you feel about the relationship and its future if he keeps refusing marriage counseling. Be persistent, but do give him some time. If he still refuses more than six months later, you may have a tough decision to make. But talk about it with your therapist, as your therapist will have more details than I about your situation.
Also, although you clearly state that the relationship involves no fighting, I do not recommend the above for readers in physically abusive relationships. If you’re in a physically abusive relationship, it could be dangerous to ask your spouse to seek therapy. Instead I recommend finding support individually, such as through the National Domestic Violence Hotline (800-799-SAFE).