How can I convince my wife to go to counseling with me?


Quck background, she was seeing somone behind my back for a few months. I caught them, and she said it was over but was having a hard time cutting the cord and actually ending it, and it bit us again a month later.

I’m not willing to give up on us, and she says she isn’t either. But, she doesn’t want to talk to anyone about this, and I promised I would never tell anyone (meaning people we know). I don’t think bottling all this up inside of ourselves and trying to start again without some sort of help is a good idea. I desperately want to have a BETTER marriage than before, and she says that she does too. But, she also says that she doesn’t feel comfortable talking to a stranger about this. I’m the only person she can talk to about it, and I’m not an unbiased party. I can’t be sure she’s even telling me everything she’s keeping inside.

All I want is to not screw this up. It’s too important.

If anyone has any sort of advice out there, I’ll gladly listen.

Should I slow down a little? Let things settle a little more? Give her more time to deal with “letting go” before “reconnecting”?

Seriously, I’m lost, and I can’t afford to get this wrong.


Get both of you to Retrouvaille ASAP <–Click on that for the link to Retrouvaille


How about letting her choose the counselor. Also, who better than a stranger to hear your marriage problems. A counselor will be objective.

Maybe your wife is afraid of being chided for her infidelity? That’s not the role of a counselor. A counselor helps people find the causes for their behavior. He (or she) does not sit in judgment of people’s behavior.

Like a priest in confession, a counselor is only interested in healing and reconciliation, not in who is to blame.

I will pray for you and your wife, and ask the Carmelite Sisters of Sacred Heart Monastery to pray for you, as well. :slight_smile:


OK. That’s great. HOW do I convince her to go?

(In response to the Retrouvaille suggestion)


That would come down to how interested she is in saving the marriage and making it work? If she is serious about it then I would think that by you suggesting it that would make her at the very least interested in it. I think that doing some research on Retrouvaille yourself you could be better prepared to give that information to her in an informed manner. You can then direct her to the website, etc.

From the stories that I have read this is a great way to “work on your marriage” and has a great success rate.

I agree with the other post about letting her choose her own counselor. If she is committed to breaking the other relationship and making your marriage work then her actions will speak louder than her words.

You say that she is not willing to give up, well then these are a few ways that she can prove that to you.


Listen, marriage is important, but emotional abuse is something else. No one deserves to be treated like this, if she is unwilling to deal with it. Talk to your priest, immediately. He may have much more wisdom than I.

I will pray for you.


She probably does not want to go to a counselor because she knows what she did was wrong, and is embarrassed.

Retrouvaille is not a marriage counseling session. She will not have to expose her misdeeds in front of anyone. Retrouvaille focuses on renewing a troubled marriage.

Ask her to do it for you, not because she wants to but because she loves you.

I also suggest you get the book His Needs, Her Needs by Dr. Harley.

May I ask, what is your objective in going to counseling? Can it be achieved another way? Bottom line-- what is it you think counseling will do for you that can’t be accomplished any other way?


I honestly don’t have any idea what I expect to happen with counseling. I just don’t think that us going back to “life as we know it” is going to work, especially if we both have things bottled up inside. Maybe counseling isn’t what we need. Maybe it is a “retreat” type thing, where we can learn to be a better us.

I just wish, for her sake, she had at least ONE person to talk to that would understand and be able to not “spread the word”.

She says she’s going to go to confession ASAP, and plans to spend time in the Eucharistic Chapel once a week. I’m kind of hoping that when she does go to confession, that the priest there will be able to suggest some sort of “marriage maintenance activities”. I have forgiven her. I’ve done everything in my power to let her know that God will. That no matter what anyone has done, He will forgive if we ask. I told her that forgiveness is a gift, but like all gifts, it must be opened and accepted.

Perhaps tonight we’ll talk some more. She really doesn’t like to talk about it, though. But, I guess if I approach her with “what next?” instead of “what happened?” (which I think we’ve beat that horse to death, and it should stay dead) maybe she’ll come around.

The worst part of the retrouvaille suggestion is there are apparently no dates coming up in my area. :frowning:


God never said it would be easy only that it would be worth it!!

You will both be in my prayers!


Thank You, that means a lot.


First off… I’m sorry this is happening to your marriage. You know, I will back up Mirror Mirror. Retrouvaille is a wonderful program. I’m currently attending Retrouvaille. Call the 800 number. The dates on the website are not always updated. Maybe you can look it up on the net by state. I searched for “Retrouvaille in California” on yahoo and I found more dates. BUT the one I attended wasn’t even on the list. Maybe there is one planned but never made it on a site.

Another thing you could do, if you find on the Retrouvaille site a city close by, click on it, a phone number and/or an email of a married couple will come up. You can give them a call and they will tell you when the next Retrouvaille weekend is (just note that it’s not just a weekend, it’s a 3 month program).

It works wonders.


I think “counseling” is overrated in many instances. It certainly has legitimate purposes, but if you don’t even have a goal maybe you are pushing “counseling” because that’s what Dr. Phil says.

Really, maybe there isn’t anything to “talk” about-- to talk to death-- maybe there is the moving forward to do instead. Retrouvaille can help.

Another book that can help in addition to the one I already mentioened is For Better… Forever by Dr. Greg Popcak (a Catholic).

Why? What does she need to talk about?

If you’ve forgiven her, then I suggest you not go to “counseling” and “talk about it”. Instead, focus on the underlying causes, how to prevent them in the future, and how to communicate.

Now you’re talking. I think this is progress.

Call and check anyway.

Also, there is another program, Marriage Encounter, which is another Catholic retreat. I believe they have a website.


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