What’s the deal about men and relationships counselling? Why do men procrastinate so much when it comes to getting help sorting out a relationship rift? Are men afraid of marriage counseling? Find out what’s helpful in terms of relationship counselling for men, and couples therapy.

And learn why it really doesn’t matter who made the first call to a marriage therapist. All that matters is that both people want to heal the rift, and feel comfortable in a caring environment, to do so…knowing they won’t get blamed.

Relationship Counselling for Men

Why Men Hesitate with Couples Coaching and why they’re afraid to see a couples counsellor

Even though some will argue this is stereotyping and sexist, the brain of males and females are differently wired.

That’s not to say that there’s not a great deal of diversity – there most definitely is! And I’ve helped all types of couples solve their relationship issues and ‘get back to love’. Helping all genders progress in healing their marriages or repairing other significant relationships. The gender of the couple doesn’t matter at all.

That noted, in marriages between men and women, men (husbands) seem more hesitant to attend marriage counselling or couples therapy than women (wives).

The fact is that no one is immune from gender pressure and cultural influences on what a ‘man’ should be in society, or as a husband. In Australia and other traditionally male-dominant cultures, men have been long-conditioned to be seen as self-sufficient and ‘tough.’  They were taught that therapy was ‘bad’ or a sign of weakness (it’s actually a sign of strength, like being savvy enough to know which software tool to use to design a creative piece or drawing).

Men were not taught that seeking help – physical health or mental health help – was actually OKAY. So they rarely visit doctors, and they die earlier than women, who are more prone to seeking medical help earlier in the piece. And it’s well acknowledged these days that men suffer more from anxiety, PTSD, substance use addictions and suicidal ideation. They tend to have fewer confidants and less social support. And it ends up making men wary of getting support, especially from a professional…someone their wife has picked.

This is changing now, thankfully. More men are aware of the benefits of professional coaching for mental health and relationship advice.

Even so, some men may be reluctant to see a couples coach or marriage counsellor.

Do men or women seek relationship counselling more often?

Who wants to try marriage counselling more, when a relationship breaks down – men or women?

Men and Marriage Counselling: In 8 times out of 10 in my practice, it’s the woman (or wife) who makes the first call to me when the marriage is between a male and a female.

Sometimes the husband, or male partner, is happy to come along to counselling sessions. Some are grateful the female partner did the choosing; others are worried they didn’t choose the therapist themselves. And in about 20% of sessions, it’s the husband who makes the first contact, usually after the wife has cheated or demanded a divorce. But overall, women tend to make the first call; and men eventually realise that’s okay. That I’m not only neutral, I’m working with them as a couple, not as someone wanting to ‘take somebody’s side’ or make anyone the subject of criticism or blame (nor do I permit much victim-thinking). I treat the couple as a whole.

What if my wife chose the marriage counsellor and I didn’t like her or him?

It’s easy to be concerned that your partner chose a marriage therapist that might be more on her side, than yours. This is one of the reasons men procrastinate on marriage therapy and other relationship counselling.

But men don’t need to hesitate about entering relationship counselling with a highly experienced Couples Coach – it really doesn’t matter who picks the counsellor.

  • The only thing that matters is that both parties are wanting to work on healing and recovering the marriage or relationship; and that both partners feel safe to do so in the counsellor’s presence.
  • Partners need to feel cared for by the couples coach or marriage counsellor; feeling their mutual interests in preserving the relationship are being looked after
  • The alternative, or fear, is a blame-storming session or marriage therapy that seems poised to blame the husband or wife – this is not the way it actually works!

An expert marriage therapist will never blame-storm. In fact, their role is to help both partner’s stop blaming each other for what’s gone wrong, and instead, work towards new understandings about their marriage and each other. They learn new ways to heal and move through and beyond the hurts – and back to love.

An expert marriage counsellor asks the right questions of each partner which brings the focus to destructive emotional reactivity and how to break the patterns.

Yes, this is sometimes painful for both partners; but how couples coaching works is by moving through practical exercises as well as having open discussions with a caring facilitator who sheds light on things the couple might be less inclined to notice – things that shed new light, and thereby healing, on each partner’s behaviours and reactions to the other partner and to whatever crisis points have loomed.

This means learning to understand the contributing factors (not causes) to marital problems; or circumstances and interpretations that have created a rift in your marriage; including the risk of a pending divorce.

For men: an expert marriage counsellor or good relationship therapist is as NEUTRAL as possible even when one partner’s conduct is creating significantly more pain – it doesn’t matter who picked up the phone

  • Fear not!  A good marriage counsellor knows how to keep a a non-biased, healthy session approach, no matter who rang and initiated the counselling sessions.
    • A good relationship counsellor will coach the COUPLE in rebuilding close, connected togetherness, not one partner versus another partner; they have the aim of helping a couple return to love (and 90% of the couples I’ve helped report a positive outcome.
    • Counsellors facilitate connection and healing; they don’t pit one person against the other.

Remember, marriage counselling is actually about growth, personal development and new insights or understandings. It’s about learning that no partner is perfect in a marriage or long-term relationship. It’s about finding ways back into each other’s caring and it’s about healing the rifts between you and your partner. It isn’t about blame-storming or victim-thinking. Relationship recovery, in other words, is a dual responsibility for healing whatever’s separating two people who were once very, very much in love. 

The good news is, marriage counselling works! (But both parties must be committed to the process of relationship recovery, and must allow the appropriate time…I help couples get there very quickly with innovative relationship shifting, as a Master coach…call me for details to see if this technique is right for you).

Healing, relationship repair and reconnecting are a process when serious rifts in the marriage have arisen or become ingrained. I help couples work through relationship recovery processes.

Using the latest marital therapy and couples coaching methods, I have helped over 3,000 of the couples I’ve worked with “get back to love.”  This means healing from hurt, heartbreak or misunderstandings; even from infidelity or affairs where the husband or wife has cheated.

Coaching can be very effective – and often necessary – to solve rifts or relationship distance after serious events or a marital crisis. By coaching I mean an uplifting form of counselling after a marital crisis, a spontaneous love affair with someone else, or other forms of betrayal such as long-term cheating or multiple affairs during the marriage.

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Women instigate divorces most often.

Women also seek relationship counselling more than men, as a general trend in therapy-seeking couples.

Read the blog, 6 Mistakes Unhappy Couples Make.

Studies show that is is typically WOMEN who instigate divorces in most male-female marriages gone sour.

Most men actually want to avoid a divorce as much as the wife. But sometimes the husband is hesitant or unwilling to engage a relationship counsellor or relationship coach. Why is that the case?

Here are the TOP 5 Reasons MEN postpone marriage counselling – and why procrastination is not a great idea.

  • men, in general, are less likely to go to the doctor when they’re physically ill than most women – studies back this up
  • men are less likely to get psychological support or ask friends for help – in fact, this is why their suicide rate is so much higher than that of women’s suicide rates (3 x higher suicide rate in males)
  • men are often reluctant to change the status quo – or ‘dig up’ old wounds
  • they tend to delay getting help until it’s too late, until their spouse has REALLY had enough – and wants a divorce
  • even if they do go to counselling, they can resist the exercises, insights or help
  • they may not embrace the Guidance of the Counsellor; instead, they put up a wall (but they might do that with any potentially-charged emotional situation)

The reasons are typically FEAR (but a good relationship counsellor recognises, and resolves, fear of being blamed, very quickly).

Men fear being blamed, embarrassed or ‘shamed’ (they feel they’re being labelled or seen as ‘imperfect’ or inadequate partners) – and chances are the problems in the marriage may have increased their fears in this regard.

  • They believe they won’t get a fair hearing, because their wife has been so critical and often belittling – they feel they can’t get anything right 
  • The husband might have cheated, often having more opportunity to cheat than a wife (although both husbands and wives can cheat)
  • If so, he dreads having more guilt heaped on him, or actually admitting that some marital troubles either led to – or resulted from – an affair or other form of betrayal
  • Men might have felt shut out from sexual intimacy after the children came along; and they may feel embarrassed to openly admit they feel unwanted or unloved
BUT men, you need have no fear with me as your relationship counsellor. I’m more of a coach. That’s how I function, and that’s how you’ll find me in a session.
In Couples Coaching sessions, there will be:
  • No judgement
  • No blame
  • No shame
  • Understanding of contributing factors (both parties are part of the marriage and the rift)
  • And yes, accountability, but that also applies to both partners.

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How marriage counselling sessions work (rules and structure):

  • Fairness
  • Conscious awakening
  • Intentionality / understanding motives and underyling factors that led to risks or even affairs
  • Establishing a loving re-connection is the goal; and having a good therapist facilitate discussions about difficult topics, can take the string – and the blame – out of the discussions.

That’s not to say accountability is thrown out the window. There will be that.  That’s not to say there won’t be tears and upsets. That may happen.  But with a relationship coach, it’s controlled. It’s facilitated. It’s calmingly discussed and handled and managed by the marriage counsellor. And if you haven’t been able to solve it yourself, that’s not a sign of weakness. It’s a sign you’re married! As the truth is that nearly EVERY marriage hits points of strife and crisis; with typically half of them ending. But you don’t have to be that marriage that ends. With the right couples therapy , Couples Coaching approaches, very modernised), you can get back to love.

Need help? I’m here to talk about whether my coaching is right for your particular marriage crisis or relationship situation. You can book a free 30 minute call with me, by clicking the connect-call link below.

I trust you found this article about men and relationship counselling useful.

I look forward to guiding the repair of your relationship (but don’t delay, the longer you wait, the less likely it will be that you can repair the relationship damage or overcome the difficulties in your relationship.

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Dee Tozer, Couples Coach and Psychologist

International assistance and Skype or Video Marriage Counselling Options.

Online sessions using Skype, Facetime, WhatsApp or Zoom or in-person marriage counselling sessions in Australia (Melbourne based).

In-person marriage counselling and relationship counselling in Bayside suburbs (highly discreet and comfortable office for confidentiality and privacy; specialising in coaching methods for high-profile couples).


Marriage Counselling Location(s): Bayside are (very convenient to Brighton, Toorak, Malvern, Sandringham, Albert Park, Elwood and inner-eastern Suburbs).

In a marital crisis and need a counsellor now?

Can’t get to the Bayside suburbs of Melbourne for marriage counselling?

International assistance through online sessions using Skype, Facetime, WhatsApp or Zoom or in-person marriage counselling sessions in Australia (Melbourne based).

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Read the next blog: Does an affair or cheating mean the end of the relationship? Does cheating lead to divorce?


Journal Articles and Further reading about males and therapy trends:

 2012 Oct;59(4):591-603. doi: 10.1037/a0030130.

Accessed online on June 22, 2019.

 2012 Oct;59(4):591-603. doi: 10.1037/a0030130.

Developing a taxonomy of helpful and harmful practices for clinical work with boys and men.

. 2013; 2013: 591521.
Published online 2012 Dec 11. doi: 10.1155/2013/591521
PMCID: PMC4008091
PMID: 24826364

Therapist’s Gender and Gender Roles: Impact on Attitudes toward Clients in Substance Abuse Treatment

Accessed online on June 22, 2019.

Page last updated on June 22, 2019.