Skip to main content

When a partner refuses mental health help, express your concern compassionately, emphasizing the importance of their well-being. Offer support and suggest seeking professional guidance together. If resistance persists, establish boundaries for your own mental health and safety, and consider seeking advice from a therapist to navigate the situation effectively. Prioritize self-care and seek support from trusted individuals.

When you notice your partner struggling with mental health issues, it’s natural to want to encourage them to seek help. Despite options being available, including individual therapy or more intensive outpatient programs, actually seeking help remains the first, and most difficult, step for someone to take.

However, when they refuse, it can be disheartening and leave you feeling helpless. Yet, hope remains.

This article explores what to do when your partner refuses to get help.

What to Do When Your Partner Refuses to Get Help

Navigating the complexities of mental health within a relationship can be challenging, especially when your partner is resistant to seeking professional support.

Here’s what to do when your partner refuses to get help:

Understanding Their Resistance

Understanding why your partner refuses help is crucial in addressing the issue effectively. They might fear stigma, worry about being judged, or feel embarrassed about their struggles. Sometimes, they might believe that they can manage their symptoms on their own, or they might distrust mental health professionals based on past experiences.

It’s also possible that they don’t recognize the severity of their condition or are afraid of the potential changes that seeking help might bring. By understanding their perspective, you can better address their concerns and find ways to support them. Open a dialogue with empathy, and encourage them to share their feelings and fears.

Communicating Effectively

Effective communication is key when dealing with a partner who refuses to get help. Choose a calm and private moment to talk about your concerns. Use “I” statements to express how their mental health impacts you and the relationship, rather than blaming or accusing them. For instance, say, “I feel worried when I see you struggling, and I want to support you in feeling better.” This approach helps to reduce defensiveness and encourages openness.

Avoid arguing or pressuring them, as this can lead to further resistance. Instead, listen actively and acknowledge their feelings. Show that you are there to support them, not to criticize.

Here are some examples:

Choose the Right Time and Place

Example: “I noticed you seemed stressed earlier. Can we talk about it tonight after dinner when we’re both relaxed?”

Use “I” Statements

Example: “I feel concerned when you seem down and distant. It worries me because I care about you.”

Be Specific About Observations

Example: “I’ve noticed you haven’t been sleeping well and seem more withdrawn than usual. I’m concerned about how you’re feeling.”

Avoid Blaming Language

Example: Instead of saying, “You never take care of yourself,” try saying, “I think it would be beneficial for us to find ways to improve our well-being.”

Express Empathy and Understanding

Example: “I understand that seeking help can be daunting. I’m here to support you through this process.”

Offer to Help with the Process

Example: “Would you feel more comfortable if I helped you find a therapist or went with you to the first appointment?”

Listen Actively

Example: After sharing your concerns, say, “I’d like to hear how you feel about this. What’s on your mind?”

Validate Their Feelings

Example: “It’s completely normal to feel overwhelmed. Your feelings are valid, and we can work through this together.”

Avoid Ultimatums

Example: Instead of saying, “If you don’t get help, I can’t stay with you,” say, “I want us both to be happy and healthy, and I believe getting help can be a positive step for us.”

Reiterate Your Support

Example: “No matter what, I’m here for you. We can face this together, one step at a time.”

These simple examples of effective communication can foster a supportive environment, making it easier to address mental health concerns within a relationship. By being empathetic and non-judgmental, you create a space where your partner feels understood and supported, which can be crucial when they refuse to get help.

Offering Support

Offering support involves being patient and understanding. Sometimes, the first step in helping your partner is to educate yourself about their condition. This knowledge can provide you with the tools to support them more effectively and empathetically.

Encourage them to engage in self-care activities that they enjoy and find relaxing. Suggest small steps toward seeking help, like reading about mental health or attending a support group together. Let them know that seeking help is a sign of strength, not weakness.

Setting Boundaries

While it’s important to support your partner, you also need to protect your own mental health. Setting boundaries is crucial to avoid burnout and maintain a healthy relationship. Explain to your partner that while you are there to support them, you also need to take care of yourself.

Establish what you can and cannot do, and stick to those limits. This might mean taking time for yourself, seeking your own therapy, or involving others when necessary. Boundaries ensure that both partners’ needs are met and prevent the relationship from becoming one-sided.

Seeking External Help

Sometimes, seeking external help can provide the necessary support for both you and your partner. This could involve talking to trusted friends or family members who might positively influence your partner.

You might also consider consulting a mental health professional for advice on handling the situation.

If your partner is open to it, couples therapy can be a beneficial way to address issues together. It provides a safe space for both partners to express their concerns and work on solutions with the guidance of a trained professional.

Mental Health Treatment at The Verve

At Verve Behavioral Health, we understand the struggles of mental health issues and the importance of professional support.

Our comprehensive treatment programs are designed to cater to individual needs, ensuring personalized care.

Reach out to us today to discover how we can assist you and your partner achieve mental well-being and foster a healthier relationship.


Navigating a partner’s refusal to seek mental health help can be challenging, but understanding, effective communication, and support can make a difference. Prioritize both your well-being and theirs, and don’t hesitate to seek external support when needed. Remember, addressing mental health concerns is vital for a healthy and fulfilling relationship.

Leave a Reply