What To Do When A Loved One Is In Denial About Needing Help

When Maria found out that her husband Jason was having an extramarital sexual affair, Maria wanted to seek professional help. Jason refused. He reasoned that he didn't want to expose himself and their marriage to a stranger. He didn't see the problems that serious. He didn't like the costs involved.

That was the situation until Maria threatened to leave him and bring the kids with her. He finally agreed to go for individual and marital therapy and counseling. He did, even amid his mind's many "excuses," because he didn't want the natural consequences of his actions.

Unfortunately, Jason's denial and attitude is pretty common among men. Many men, when confronted with severe or obvious problems in their family or even themselves, refuse to see the issue. They often don't seek help until their loved one can no longer tolerate the pain they caused.

What do you do when your loved one - spouse, child, parent, relative, friend etc - is in denial or resisting help that's obviously needed?

Here are some of my suggestions that can be helpful ... before more damage is done!

•  Be straightforward to your loved one about behaviors that concern you in a kind, respectful way.

•  Give your loved one good access and information about recovery and therapy in a positive, life-enhancing manner.

•  Protect your relationship with your loved one and work on gaining his or her trust over the long run. Avoid nagging and belittling.

•  Plant seeds about getting help and water them regularly.

•  Make sure you're interested in your loved one's whole life, not just his or her potential rehabilitation.

•  Give hope.

•  Know when enough is enough. You can do only what you can do.

•  Threatening to leave or separate is not a first approach. But after time, it can be the best approach. Staying in a toxic relationship is harmful to your health, and enables your loved one to stay sick.