I am happy to hear that your bf is seeing a therapist, that should be good for him. Presumably, he made the arrangements, yes? Seeing someone he has previously worked with could be a real plus. The therapist already knows his history, so more session time can be devoted to issues. And, hopefully, your bf feels comfortable with the therapist.
Now, I’m going to throw a little cold water on your fantasy. But, I will do it with love.
Therapy is not magic. There is no fairy dust involved. If he really wants to make changes, it’s very hard, often painful work. And it takes time.
Whatever is driving your bf’s stark, raving terror of marriage is not just his divorce. Adults find ways to work through that and time has magical healing properties of its own.
The source of his fears of intimacy or whatever the fears may go deeper than just a divorce. No doubt, the divorce was triggering for him and scraped open some old wounds.
When we are hoping that a person will make changes, and we have asked for those changes, we are obliged to give that person the space to make the changes.
My ideal plan for you would be to separate for right now. Let’s get the 1100 lb elephant out of the room while he’s earnestly working with his therapist. Give him plenty of space when he needs it. It is not a personal affront to you. If old trauma does get dredged up, it’s exhausting and draining. Some people need alone time. Respect that, should it happen.
One issue with loving and compassionate people (gender stereotyping alert!), especially women, is the automatic tendency to dole out the kind of support that we know we would want. Your intentions could not be more honorable. But to a lot of people, constant closeness, affection, and verbalizing around the fact that your partner must be upset feels suffocating.
If you want to know the best way to show support for your bf—ask him what he needs.
Or, you can use the distance to do some soul searching about the relationship.
As for the couples counseling, I would hold off on that. His past traumas and anxieties are really not couples issues. He may need to go deep. Hurtful things about you could come out for which you’re not ready.
My thought would be to wait until the therapist believes it’s time to start couples work.
Another huge benefit of separation is that you will be able to gauge your bf’s sincerity and motivation for therapy. See how long he sticks with it. Watch for missed appointments. Griping or being mad at his therapist are fine, and typically a sign that work is being done.