There is not much that I enjoy as much as when a couple comes to me troubled and afraid of failing in their marriage, and we put it back together better than new. Here is one of those stories.
Phil and laura had ignored their marriage as they raised their five and two year olds. Sex was still good but became just another thing checked off the list. One day another adult flirted with Phil and he remembered what he was missing. Unfortunately he responded with a lot of interest and his marriage was put at risk. Laura had opportunities too. She was a very attractive cougar.
I have to tell you all spouses find out that their partner are cheating on their cell phone. Texts , emails or calls. You name it. The truth always gets out. Also partners always tell me that they can feel that something isn’t right. So of course Laura found out and told Phil that she was considering a fling too. What a mess and we had two “babies” at risk.
They came into my office not sure if anything could help. One by one they shared their back rounds: parenting, relationships, discipline, achievements in childhood, attention, wishes hopes and dreams and all else. As a therapist I was looking for patterns from the past that each spouse is unconsciously playing out in their marriage. Then I point this out to them so that they can choose whether to keep doing what isn’t working. Becoming conscious is the first step in changing a dysfunctional unsatisfying relationship.
Phil’s mom never had much time for him, and Laura’s dad traveled in his work and was seldom involved in her life. Neither of these adults had seen how to have a successful marriage but they wanted to learn. That was key. When couples commit to get through the learning and healing (remember the affair) ,except for abuse or an addiction not in recovery, almost anything can be healed. You just don’t get to keep doing what didn’t work.
Laura and Phil made it. It took many months because things had gotten so wrong. They didn’t mind. It was an investment in their future and happiness as a couple and as a family. This couple counselor was happy too.
WE MADE IT!