It takes two to tango, right? So ideally if you want to improve your relationship, both individuals would work on it together. But, that is ideal, and life isn't ideal. So what can you do for your relationship if your partner doesn't want to come to counselling?
A few ideas:
1. Start with yourself: You can best serve the people you love by working on yourself. We all have things about ourselves that need improvement, and by so doing we make our relationships better. For example, if you tend to get easily triggered and as a result can't have difficult discussions with your partner, you can work on that (in counselling for yourself) and become better regulated. You learning to be less reactive can improve your relationship.
2. Set up a meeting with a counsellor with the intent of seeing if it would be a good fit for you. No commitment, no promises, just a introduction to how things would go and to get an idea if the counsellor is a good match. No pressure. Ask for a meeting and explain your situation. Feel free to refuse services if it doesn't feel right for you. Any counsellor would be up for that, in fact, that is what the first session is about.
3. Find a different method of getting help: Maybe your partner would be more interested in talking to a family member, a member of clergy, or a relationship coach. Find out if they would be more comfortable with something other than counselling. Taking the first step towards getting counselling is often the most difficult step for people. Also, some people are still uncomfortable with the word counselling or psychologist. They might not know that counselling is for regular people with regular struggles.
NOTE: If you are experiencing abuse or harm (physically, emotionally, spiritually, sexually, mentally or otherwise) you may have to consider keeping yourself (and any children that are in harms way) safe first and addressing the relationship second.
If you want your marriage to work, you need to work on your marriage!
Couples tend to seek counselling when things have already being going wrong for a long time. I've heard other counsellors say that most couples come to them 5 years too late! That often rings true. Except, it's never too late.
We tend to reach out only when we think we can no longer handle our situation. Reaching out for help is often the most difficult part of making our lives better. It really is difficult to say, "I need help. I can't do this alone." Once you do, though, it is surprising how quickly you can improve your situation. That is not to say that everything will magically fix itself. It still takes effort and a bit of time. If something took years to become dysfunctional it may take some time to get healed.
Here's an idea for the New Year. Reach out! Call a friend. Connect with family. Set yourself up for counselling. The first step is vital. And in case you think it won't work anyways, that it is too late for you, take heart. If your first attempt doesn't work the way you imagined, try again. What's the most you can lose? One hour and some cash? That is definitely worth the risk compared to your relationship deteriorating even further. Do it today.