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My wife won't follow the counselor's instructions.

A blog reader recently wrote "My wife won't follow the counselor's instructions to better our marriage." Although his comment was brief, it's a common concern I hear from couples.

There are many reasons for a spouse not following the counselor's instructions. Those reasons go from passive-aggressive defiance on the part of the spouse to the counselor mishandling the situation.

The counselor's office becomes where the couple's issues are acted out. It can be a place of healing or a place for public humiliation and shame.

I can tell you that when you have fantasies of using the counselor as hammer for beating your spouse into submission, things aren't going to turn out well. When your heart is not in your marriage, using a hammer to whack your spouse back home doesn't work.

There are times for confrontation, especially when facing addictions. There are also times for confrontation with affair related issues.

Not following the counselor's instructions alerts me to there being trust issues in the relationship. For whatever reason, someone is not trusting the counselor.

When you don't trust the counselor or each other those are issues needing attention. If your spouse doesn't trust you, they probably won't trust your choice in counselors either.

They will show the counselor the same attitude that they show toward you.

It's only after trust is established that people, including spouses are willing to listen. We only listen to those who have our best interest at heart.

When your spouse doesn't believe that you have their best interest at heart, they won't listen to you or anyone else. They know you while the counselor is a stranger.

If you want your spouse to listen to you, a great place to start is with trust. If you don't have healthy trust in your marriage, it's going to make affair recovery more difficult.

In the video, "How Can I Trust You Again?", you'll learn what the ingredients of healthy trust are. Rather than guessing, you can know what you need in your marriage relationship.

Keeping It Real,