How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask TherapistMarryAnn Your Own Question
TherapistMarryAnn, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5823
Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
Type Your Mental Health Question Here...
TherapistMarryAnn is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

What do I do if he is not willing to get outside help for

Resolved Question:

What do I do if he is not willing to get outside help for our marriage and is in denial of the problems.
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  TherapistMarryAnn replied 5 years ago.

Hi, I'd like to help you with your question.

It is very difficult when there are problems in your marriage and your spouse is in denial. It strains the relationship and causes frustration.

Denial is a way of coping with something you find too painful to face. Your husband feels overwhelmed and is using his denial as a way to avoid dealing with his depression and the problems in your marriage. The addiction to computer games is part of the denial, in the form of escape. And the claim that no one knows more than he does is also a way of avoiding responsibility.

Talk with him about what is going on. But this time, mention that you know there are problems and that he knows as well. Tell him that you would like to help in solving the problems so he is not as burdened. See if he responds. Also offer to help him deal with the depression so he can feel better. If you try making it sound like you are together rather than he is responsible on his own, he may come around. You probably will have to do this more than once, but it is worth a try.

If that does not work, try telling him that you feel the marriage is in trouble and if he is not willing to work with you, you will find a solution on your own. You cannot be in this marriage by yourself. It takes two to work on problems and he his avoiding holding up his end of the relationship.

Go back into counseling yourself. This time, talk about solutions related to your situation. You may have to decide if you need to separate from your husband. Men usually assume that their wives will stay and that the problems they talk about are just complaints they have. But when they see that their wives are willing to walk out the door, they start paying attention. Counseling can help you decide if you are at that point.

Try self help as well. The more you know, the better you are able to handle what is going on. Here are some resources to help you:

Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work by John Gottman

How to Improve Your Marriage Without Talking About It by Patricia Love and Steven Stosny

Fighting for Your Marriage: A Deluxe Revised Edition of the Classic Best-seller for Enhancing Marriage and Preventing Divorce by Howard J. Markman, Scott M. Stanley and Susan L. Blumberg

You can find these books on or your local library may have them for you.

Although you cannot force your husband to work on the marriage, you can work on things from your end. Be supportive but also realize your limits. You need and deserve to have a husband that at least tries to work on his problems. And you can offer to help him, but if he won't accept help, you cannot force him.

I hope this has helped you,

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
He doesn't think he is depressed. I have asked him to see someone and he won't. He never says anything positive, he doesn't have any friends (except online) and he doesn't do things with his son, I think the only thing I can do is ask for a separation, The only reason I stay is out of conveinence because he takes out child to school and takes care of the property, fixes things and so on. He cannot afford to stay in our home without my income. (I could but don't want the responsibility). I do not know why I am afraid of a separation, but something has prevented me from confronting him and I am not sure what it is. I keep putting it off and all I am doing is making myself ill.
Expert:  TherapistMarryAnn replied 5 years ago.

It is not an easy thing to consider separation. Right now, your life works. Besides your husbands problems, you have all you need. But you feel that your marriage is not working and if it is making you miserable, then something needs done. That is why counseling is a good idea. It gives you the support you need right now to decide if this is the right decision or if you feel you can adjust and live with how your marriage is.


TherapistMarryAnn and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you