Why Men Hate Marriage Counseling

It’s no secret. Men hate marriage counseling.

In many cases, their wives practically need drag them to even give one session a try.

In most cases, the wife is the one making the call to therapist. On the rare occasions when the man reaches out, it’s usually because his wife has made it crystal clear, in no uncertain terms, that she is ready to leave.

Then he wakes up. “Well, what about therapy? We haven’t given therapy a try yet!”

It’s a last resort. It’s a last-ditch effort to make the marriage work.

Why is it so painful for men to come to therapy? What makes it so hard? Why do they wait until the relationship has gotten so out of hand, to finally agree to consult with a professional?

I know what you’re thinking – it’s all about ego.

There is truth to that.

You may also be thinking – It’s because the woman has the upper hand. She’s more emotional. The therapist’s profession focuses on emotions. She’s going to cry and she’s going to win. The man is fighting a losing battle. The therapist will just be on her side regardless.

There is truth to that too.

But I think it’s more basic than that.

Therapy is one of the most obscure professions out there. Most people who haven’t experienced it have no idea how it works.

Those who have gone for therapy all have completely different experiences. Ten people walk into a therapist’s office with ten different agendas, ten different ideas as to what they should be doing in “therapy.”

In addition, most therapists will tell you that they are “eclectic” and they meet their clients’ needs, whatever they may be. In other words, they will tell you that there isn’t one set of techniques or approaches they’re using, rather, they’re taking many different approaches with many different clients.

The Bottom line – People are complex, their needs are complex. So, the profession designed to meet those needs is…complex!

We typically invest time and effort in something which we can understand. When something is elusive, when something is unclear, we’re simply not willing to go along for the ride.

Women naturally love marriage counseling because they feel, rightfully so, that talking about the issues will lead them somewhere. They recognize that even just addressing difficult topics will go a long way. And if someone can get their husbands to finally talk – that is an investment which is worthwhile!

Men need to understand where all of this “talk” is leading them. That’s why a good therapist makes it his business, from the very outset, to clarify the specific needs of the couple, and to explain to the husband where the destination is and how they’re going to get there.

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