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Legally, the answer to this question is no, your spouse cannot force you to go to see a marriage counselor. However, if your spouse is expressing a desire to go to counseling, it may be worth noting that they are experiencing some concerns or insecurities in your marital relationship.

Part of being a good partner is listening to your spouse when they voice concerns and working with them to problem-solve. Therefore, if you do not want to go to counseling, it may be worth exploring other avenues to meet in the middle. Therapy or counseling are not the only ways to work on a marriage.

For example, you can go on weekly date night with the money that you would have spent on counseling, make a commitment to do one favour for each other every day, or put aside time to discuss your feelings about the relationship. This can be done in tandem with your spouse attending therapy on his or her own. Giving them a venue to grow as an individual and work through some issues with a professional, might better enable them to grow within the marriage.

There is a big difference between being unwilling to attend marriage counseling and being unwilling to work on your marriage. Marriages take work, commitment and patience – it is simply the nature of the beast. If your partner is reaching out, refusing to acknowledge or compromise to meet their needs can be truly unkind. Do your best to treat your partner with respect and be a partner in return.