MARRIAGE LIFE: WHAT IF WE NEED COUNSELING, BUT MY HUSBAND THINKS IT'S A WASTE OF TIME?
I'm sure, by now, you've heard countless of times that communication is one of the most important elements in a relationship.
Couples that feel as if they can no longer do so will often resort to asking the help from family or go to counselling.
Or go straight to divorce.
What happens when only one person wants help, but not the other?
Does this mean that it won't work?
Well, I always believe that it takes only one person to change the entire course of a relationship - and it's you.
It can either be asking your parents for help or book for a counselling session.
However, once you decide to invest in your own emotional health, you have the power to change the patterns in your relationship.
And, in this case, they are the unhealthy, destructive patterns that had caused the communication breakdown in the first place.
However, this doesn't mean that something must be terribly wrong with you. Or him.
Sometimes, you just need a new perspective, especially from someone who has all the skills and tools to get you from where you are to where you want to be.
Why doesn't he want to talk?
Majority of women assume that men operate just like them.
Women love to talk about problems to express themselves and to connect emotionally, not necessarily looking for ways to solve the problems.
Men, on the other hand, usually work on their stuff alone.
So, it's quite common that men often refuse to talk about their emotions or attend any counselling sessions.
And this frustrates women further, assuming that men don't care.
Communication isn't just about talking about feelings and problems, hoping to find solutions.
It's also about understanding that men and women communicate differently, and giving space for one another.
Related article: A feminine way of expressing your needs
What can you do?
Understanding that he might need some space from you and the relationship to work on his own stuff alone, you can use this opportunity for some self-reflection.
I know that this can be scary. It's not easy to take a step back when all you want is to convince him to work on your issues together.
Now, let's begin.
Being in a healthy relationship or marriage isn't about what you can get from the other person.
Here's something that might trigger you - He doesn't owe you anything.
Yes, you read that right.
The love, trust, kindness, and loyalty that you think he should be giving to you, isn't 100% his responsibility.
Those are the things that you need to give to yourself first.
For starters, how have you been treating yourself lately?
Can you honestly say that all your thoughts, words, and gestures originate from self love? Or self hate?
Do you think you are fat, or you just feel that your curves make you sexy?
Do you blame yourself for your mistakes, instead of asking yourself,
"what can I learn from this situation?"
You get what I mean, right?
Finding love again...
Perhaps, the relationship has been too long that it has become mundane and routine.
Instead of forcing him to talk about problems, you can utilize this alone time to reminisce what made you fell in love with each other in the first place.
Was it your smile and bubbly personality?
Was it your sense of style?
Was it about how cool you are in dealing with stress?
Was it the way you eat your ice cream?
Whatever it was, try to view yourself from his perspective.
If you were him, would you be madly in love with yourself right now?
Or would you be annoyed or even disgusted?
Maybe it's time to diminish some of your nasty habits, and cultivate new ones.
But, remember, this takes time and effort.
Instead of wearing those ugly flannels and lion hair at home, why not wear that floral dress with a touch of that tinted lipbalm for a change, as if you were still in your dating phase?
Instead of hating yourself for being a couch potato, why not just put on your trainers and start to work out again like you used to?
Or blast the music on Spotify and just dance to your favorite tunes?
Instead of using passive-aggressiveness and drama to get his attention, why not return to being the cool gal who asks for what she wants clearly but from a place of love and kindness?
Now, if you were him, would you love you?
Related article: Starting again
But how can you tell if the relationship cannot be saved and you have to let him go?
Well, ask yourself this question - what would a woman who loves herself do?
A woman who loves herself wouldn't be staying in an abusive relationship, or even in one that constantly makes her sad.
She'd have her own standards in terms of an ideal relationship.
But her standards are pretty basic.
She's just really easy to love, especially from someone who is ready to.
After all, she is a strong feminine woman.
And so are you.
Even though it's normal for couples to face conflicts from time to time, how can you tell if the relationship cannot be saved, and it's time to let go?
1) You argue about the same problem over and over without any solution.
2) Both of you just want different things in life, and you can't find a way to compromise.
He wants a(nother) child, but you don't.
You feel inclined to accept that job offer overseas, but he insists that you become a full-time housewife.
You get what I mean.
3) Both of you bring the worst in one another; you thrive better in many areas of your life when you are away from him. And vice versa.
4) He had crossed your boundaries (i.e. disrespected you in any way, cheated on you, raised his hand towards you etc.)
So, what now?
You must remember one thing - if you decide to let go, move on with gratitude.
After all, he was someone that you have grown physically, mentally and emotionally with for quite some time.
If none of the above applies to your relationship, it could mean that your relationship can still be salvaged.
When you decide to stay, accept your partner fully for who he is.
Going back to the question,
What if your marriage needs counselling, but your husband thinks it's a waste of time?
You know that you can't change others, but yourself, right?
However, weeks or months of putting an effort to look good for his eyes and returning to the woman he fell in love with in the past might inspire him to do the same.
Remember, be patient and sincere in your own positive changes.
Enjoy seeing him putting the effort, too.
And, when he's ready, invite (read: not force) him to take up counselling sessions together.
Related article: The traits of a feminine woman
When both of you are now at a better place (especially emotionally), he is ought to be more willing to go on this journey with you.
However, if he doesn't want to, or, worse, refuses to participate in becoming a better person like you are, fear not.
Keep doing you. Rinse and repeat.
And, if he's still the same person who makes you cry everyday, let him go with love.
He may no longer be the person for you, no matter how much you love him.
Whatever happens, at least, you've fallen in love with the new you.
And this new you will open new doors for love and opportunities.
Read more: How to connect emotionally with a man