Thursday, May 28, 2009

Infidelity - Can Marriage Counseling Help?

Infidelity is one of the most hurtful things that can develop in an unhealthy relationship. Can a Marriage Counselor help a couple get through and overcome such an upsetting event?
In most cases yes, but there are two ‘but’: first, the underlying causes and the unhealthy aspects of the relationship need to be addressed. Second, in the course of working through the Marriage Counseling process, the starting place usually is not with the marital relationship but the individual’s personal relationship with themselves.

K., a mother of two, had been in a relationship with her husband for 5 years; he had been unfaithful many times during the course of their relationship. Recently she discovered that he had a 1-month-old baby to another woman the result of one instance of his infidelital behavior. “We are still together but I am finding it difficult to deal with. I know he wants to see his son and he does so very often. I don’t have a problem with him seeing his son. It’s the lady I have a problem with. She had no respect for our marriage; neither did he come to think of it. I don’t trust her and after all he’s put me through I don’t trust him to be alone with her either.” K. started to explain.

K. was starting to open up and I’m certain, not-realizing it, that subconsciously she was telling me exactly what her problem was even though she didn’t fully realize it herself at the time. As K. continued the true underlying issue became more apparent. “Yesterday my husband came home with his hair done differently. When I questioned him about it, he told me his baby’s mother did it!” She exclaimed in obvious exasperation. “I'm not sure how to deal with this at all. They are obviously still friends I can only assume because of the baby but how can I be sure that’s all it is. I don’t think that he should allow her to do his hair. I already have enough reminders of his infidelity.”

K. finished off by expressing her concern for where his continued relationship with the baby’s mother would lead. “I know the problem is the mistrust I have for him. I wonder if I’m being unreasonable about this; it’s just a haircut.”

At this point K. stopped. I remember a childlike look of hope in her eyes as she sat there waiting for my response. It seemed she was trying to convince both herself and me that that’s all it really was, ‘just a haircut’. I knew as a Life Coach and Marriage Counselor that it was not just a ‘hair-cut’. There is unfortunately no easy way of telling someone that.

Being sympathetic and trying to make her realize what she already knew deep inside I answered her as kindly as the circumstances allowed. “No, I do not think that the mistrust issue between you and your husband is the real trouble here. The major issue is the disrespect that you have towards yourself. You do not see yourself as strong, independent and well deserving of a true relationship.”
Having approached the subject as conservatively as possible I continued. “You sound very immature and very insecure; possibly both. It sounds like you have an ‘Empowerment Issue’, lacking the capacity to challenge traditional forces (your husband’s marriage lifestyle) now that it has suppressed your personal belief system.”

As both a Psychologist and Life Coach my therapeutic recommendation therefore was that she absolutely needed to restructure the way choices are being made in her marriage life. “Be a model of a good leader and a responsible parent to your kids. Show them that they should not at any time accept to be treated as the second best.” I told her.

The art and the science here is to accomplish this restructuring in a way that the Relationship Advice not only occurs without harming the marital equilibrium but also strengthens it. Many husbands do enjoy an empowered partner. My advice to K. therefore followed my theoretical approach; I knew she needed to empower herself very quickly, in order to be able to create a loving happy relationship for herself. I found no better way than to say loud and clear: “Just grow up!” I then advised her further in very concrete terms: “this meant that within 24 hours you either force your husband to start Marriage Counseling process with you or kick him out with no delay. Either you or her! Do not now worry about visitation procedure, since they could be worked out, once the counseling process starts!”
Dr. Joseph Abraham, Director, Center for Human Growth and Business Insights, Mechanicsburg, PA Tel 717-943.0959 Online Counseling on Behavioral issues and Small Business Advice Provider regarding efficiency and effectiveness. Online Counseling And Small Business Advice

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

There is Hope for Abused Wives

On more than one occasion I have been contacted by a partner in a relationship who thought there could be some instant ‘magic’ solution to their relationship problems. As an Online Marriage Counseling provider I regularly come across people who think that the solution to their marital problems is a click, call or just an email away.
Well, there is no ‘cook-book’ Relationship Advice solution for an unhealthy abusive relationship.
Being involved in a relationship that has reached the point where it’s a constant cycle of abuse is not healthy for either partner and unfortunately there is no ‘quick-fix’ for this type of situation. Long term Marriage Counseling with a certified Psychologist is usually required. When R. contacted me about her personal situation it seemed that she was searching for just such a ‘quick-fix’ solution.

R. was in a marriage that had, by the time she contacted me, almost completely come undone. Here in her own words are the details of her relationship: “My husband says constant insults and does a lot of name calling. It has gotten physical at one point; he said that I provoked him. I am constantly being reminded of working it out. But in the process, I feel myself weakening emotionally because there is no time for me to heal. He apologizes, but eventually he just does the same things again anyway.”

I informed R’ that verbal abuse, from a Psychologist point of view, is just like any other addiction. It is a serious problem that has many explanations, theories and treatment approaches. My treatment method focuses on the concept that everything relates to the relationship: either the relationship between the individual and his ‘self’, the self esteem issue, or towards his spouse.
My basic understanding of any marital relationship always takes me first to each one of the partners. Only thereafter I assess the relationship that the partners have with one another. In cases involving excessive verbal abuse it can be, for both the giver and receiver, an almost addictive quality and like any addiction it can lead down an ever escalating path.

I further went on to explain to R. that as the abuse had started to escalate, both partners need professional help, since the 'relationship issue' is complex and not simple to solve and fix. There is no quick-fix solution, I again reminded her; Marriage Counseling is definitely required. As a long time Psychologist I tend not to provide direct answers, but facilitate the process of empowering my clients, allowing them to boost their ability and produce the desired outcome. “You need to transform both your life as well as your marital lifestyle” I told her. Whether you call it a Relationship Advice or Life Coach mentoring or Marriage Counseling you and your partner need to seek long term continuous help!

I further went on to address the areas of focus that the Marriage Counseling would begin with and expand upon. There were three major ‘learning and change’ missions for which I identified:
A. Your husband - should assess and change his value system and perceptions, habits, culturally accepted behaviors and also his stress related reactions.

B. You - should asses your tolerance level, and change towards the ability to be strong in order to say and act “No More”.

C. You both - should assess and change parts of your marital lifestyle in order to find more common grounds and shared positive experiences.
Dr. Joseph Abraham, Director, Center for Human Growth and Business Insights, Mechanicsburg, PA Tel 717-943.0959 A Psychologist, Online Life Coach, Marriage Counselor and Relationship Advice provider. Psychologist And Online Marriage Counseling and Relationship Advice And Life Coach Online Counseling And Small Business Advice

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Life Coach Online Counseling: From a Better Parent to a Better Husband

L. contacted me for an Online Counseling relief and Relationship Advice session. She had reached a point in her relationship with her husband where she was just completely and thoroughly frustrated with him and the situation she found herself in. “My husband made the decision for me to quit my job based on the cost of daycare vs. my teaching salary. Also the fact that he did not want to have to dress and take them to daycare in the morning influenced his decision as well.” She began. “Now that he is the only one providing income he believes that everything concerning the house and kids is my responsibility.”

I listened to L. very intently as she describe her situation. I wanted to make sure I was in fact getting the whole picture before I jumped to any conclusions regarding her relationship and her partner. As a Psychologist I could not offer constructive advice that would allow her to build her relationship if I went in looking at the situation with any prejudices. L. went on to describe a scene similar to a TV show of the 40’s and 50’s. The ones where the father had a job and the mother took care of the house and kids. There is of course nothing wrong with this type of relationship and family setting “if” it’s what both partners desire. As a practical Life Coach, it was apparent however, as L. continued describing her situation, that she was not happy and that it was most definitely not what she wanted.

“We were fighting every night about who had to do the dishes or bathe the kids. I got tired of the bickering and didn't want the kids to hear us arguing over who "had" to give them a I came up with a schedule for every day of the week alternating dishes or bath. Each of us does one of these tasks while the other does the other and it alternates every night. It was fine for a few weeks...but now we are back to him saying that he does not understand why he has to give them a bath ever or do dishes. He should be able to come home, take a nap and play with the kids but that is where he believes his part of parenting responsibilities stops.” She paused here sighing in obvious exasperation then continued. “I have tried to explain to him that I need a little bit of down time too. Otherwise I was giving baths, getting kids in bed and doing dishes (and packing his lunches-another requirement) and not even sitting down until 9 while he is on the couch at 7. How do I get him to see that I “AM” busy during the day and that I deserve his help and to rest in the evenings too? What do I do to keep the peace and also get help? I feel like a single parent!”

L. did clarify one thing for me when I asked her about it. I was curious as to their partnership in taking care of the children on the weekends. “He gets mad if I leave him for even an hour with both kids awake in the evening or on the weekend. He expects me to take them both to the grocery store rather than letting me go when he is home....even though he would NEVER dream of taking them both with him.” At this point looking at the situation I had to agree with L. She was very much like a single parent who had a live-in part-time babysitter. I assured L. that I could certainly understand her frustration. “Whoever still holds traditional 19th century view of parental roles is either blind or just mistaken” I advised L.

I have no simple one line Relationship Advice to offer, I said, but through Marriage Counseling you both should certainly be able to remedy the situation. A structured guidance and counseling program along a 2-3 months period should allow you to do that, I informed her.

These are the three themes of the program:
A. Attitude change: how do you value and assess each other’s strengths and abilities; life aspirations and challenges.
B. Acquiring the right child rearing practices: hoe each parent can and should react and contribute to the children; what are the appropriate parental and gender role models?
C. Enriching marital communication, relationship, sexuality and mutual emotional growth.

Do not give up, I said; you both have a lot of work to do, but I’m sure you can handle it and even enjoy it. Since marriage is a reciprocal chain of behaviors, there are a lot of actions and behaviors that you could do that have the power to trigger your husband to transform his attitudes and parental style. Lead him to learn to enjoy his kids and help you both to enjoy each other in the process!
Dr. Joseph Abraham, Director, Center for Human Growth and Business Insights, Mechanicsburg, PA Tel 717-943.0959 A Psychologist, Online Life Coach, Marriage Counselor and Relationship Advice provider. Psychologist And Online Marriage Counseling and Relationship Advice And Life Coach Online Counseling

Monday, May 18, 2009

Online Marriage Counseling: The Empty Nest Needs Adjustment

As every couple knows there are many different stages in any relationship. Sometimes when a couple enters into a new stage of their relationship it can become very difficult to maintain an open and healthy line of communication. Through every phase of any relationship the ability to communicate is essential. Sometimes as the relationship grows and moves forward into the next stage the partners in the relationship seem to grow apart. This was the situation that J. had reached when she decided to contact me, searching for an Online Marriage Counselor service.

J. and her husband had been married for about 21 years. Recently both of their children had gone off to college moving out of the house to live on campus. Here is her situation in her own words as she described them to me through our initial Online Counseling session: “I am trying to figure out how to communicate better with my husband. I don’t know if it’s me or him. My husband is a picky type person so I have to make sure things are taken care of, including him. Greet him at the door, be home before him, dinner on time, bring him his plate etc. It’s getting tiring, but he is a wonderful person and a joy to be around when he is not agitated at something.” J. explained.

J. continued with some of the family background at this point. She explained how her relationship had been closer with their children although her husband did seem to enjoy spending time with them as well. She explained the recent situation just before the children went off to college. “Our son has had some health problems this year that I have been helping him with that, working full time, and taking care of our home.”

Since her children had gone off to college their relationship had become strained. J. thought perhaps it might be empty-nest syndrome. I advised J. that it could indeed be empty-nest syndrome but that I needed a little more information before I could make any assumptions as a Psychologist or Life Coach. I asked J. more about her current situation.

“Something sets it off and it just escalates from there. Usually it’s something silly like ‘Why did I only get $30.00 worth of gas instead of filling it up?’ He has said it’s not fun when he comes home anymore just things need to be done. He doesn’t do them though. He just gets on the computer and I don’t think he realizes how much he is on it. After our most recent argument he ended up leaving and driving for two hours and was ready to call it quits. I made him talk until 4am. We have been really good in our relationship until just recently.” She confided in me.

As our introductory Online Counseling session came to a close J. asked me for some Relationship Advice regarding her situation. I advised J. that I felt her relationship could be turned into a healthy one again if we could open up the lines of communication again. I advised her that to begin the process there were two situations that we should explore further.

As a Psychologist I informed her that. “It could indeed be empty-nest syndrome but that there were many more aspects of the relationship that needed to be explored before I could offer any real Relationship Advice. There are many “MALE’ things that are related to that life period; family restructuring issues, loosing the sense of mission, missing the ability to control others, the weakening of their leadership status while the wife’s position begins strengthening in the family and so on. However I informed her that at the current time I didn’t have enough information to get a full view of the situation.”
Many other things, I told her, are related to the "Age Factor" and the perceived “Quality" of previous and current relationship. J. had not included the sex topic yet in our Online Counseling dialogue and males are very sensitive about that aspect of a relationship.

I also offered J. an alternative to empty-nest syndrome for her to consider, looking at another theoretical ground and potential explanation: the Push-Pull theory. Generally speaking the concept holds that most deviations from a relationship is not because the person is being pulled (attracted) to a new circumstance or a relationship but mainly because he or she perceives that they are being pushed away from their current one.

Marriage Counseling was recommended and accepted; as always, good assessment became the key to a workable solution that helped this marriage relationship to go again into harmony.
Dr. Joseph Abraham, Director, Center for Human Growth and Business Insights, Mechanicsburg, PA Tel 717-943.0959 A Psychologist, Online Life Coach, Marriage Counselor and Relationship Advice provider. Psychologist And Online Marriage Counseling and Relationship Advice And Life Coach Online Counseling

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Online Family Counseling: Attitude Change Was Needed

Expecting to be a first time mother is usually a joyous occasion. However such was not the case with L. whose recent pregnancy caused an already tenuous relationship with her mother to escalate.

L. called me in this unfortunate situation and here is what she was currently experiencing during our initial session of Online Counseling: “I am 27 and three months pregnant. I have been with the father for over four years and we live together abroad. Both of us work and are financially independent. My mother has never cared much for my boyfriend and doesn't have any time for him refusing to make a place for him in her life. She doesn't think he is good enough for me.” She confided to me as she began telling me about her situation.

“Since I told her I am pregnant, she has barely said a word to me. She told me not to have the baby! Obviously this hurt my feelings very much as we are very happy and excited about it. She hasn't asked me when it is due; how I'm feeling; or any of the normal questions a mother would ask. Her attitude and lack of support has left me feeling quite anxious and depressed.” At this point L. sighed deeply and sounded looked like she was trying to hold herself back from sobbing.

Looking back on my previous experiences as a family Online Counseling Psychologist and Life Coach, I knew how stressful a time and experience L. must be going through. At this point I started asking questions directing her away from her current experience and trying to see what her relationship was like with her mother in the past.

After taking a few deep breaths collecting herself L. continued: “My mother has always been too overbearing and controlling. This is one of the reasons I moved abroad. Still I can not believe how disgraceful she is behaving towards her future grandchild and my happiness. I don't want to create conflict and make things worse but I am starting to feel as though I don't want her in my life, or my child's. I have to see her in a few weeks when I have a hospital visit in my home country. I don't know how I should behave. She is not the sort of women that 'talks' about things and she is very hypercritical, childish and sulks when she does not get her way. I am really at a loose end, and unable to enjoy the most special time in my life.”

L. called my Online Counseling Services for help; understandably, she wanted to solve quickly the difficulty around her mother’s support during this very special and very stressful time. I therefore wanted to be as directive and as efficient as possible, by providing a practical Life Coach Relationship advice. L., I said, I have no easy solution for you; there is no ‘quick-fix’ move that I can offer in order to better your situation. You time is ticking, but you must think about elaborated Family Counseling process. The sessions first should be individual and then leading to joint dialogue with your mother, her life partner and your spouse. Only together, all of you have the chance to heal the relationship. Taking the Psychologist perspective, I added: I could only help to facilitate the process; I could not make happen, since this is your job to do.

I further explained that in the situation that L. found herself in living abroad away from her family, my ability to offer all of them Online Counseling would be extremely beneficial as we could do the counseling sessions through phone or online web-casts. It was in her circumstance the perfect solution for her situation.

As we continued to discuss the Online Counseling process I took time to explain what is called ‘attitude change’ – a cognitive and emotional process that alternates the belief system, the values and the socially related ‘do’ or ‘do not do’ practices. I advised her that my role as the online facilitator would be to assist each one of the family members with a series of one-on-one Online Counseling sessions. There would be three major ‘learning and change’ missions here, I continued, that she would better be aware of:
A. Your life with your child’s father: you should assess the situation and see why marriage has not yet evolved.
B. You and yourself: you should asses your dependency level, and change towards the ability to say and act according to your feelings and needs. This is the Empowerment issue: lack of capacity to challenge traditional forces (your mother) once it suppresses your desire or belief system.
C. You, your spouse and your mother: you both need to change/re-establish or recreate your communication style with your mother.

Epilog: No happy end here… you need two for the Tango; unfortunately the mother was less than enthusiastic about participating and refused to anything than to state that her daughter had made her own choices and those choices excluded her and her opinions.

Dr. Joseph Abraham, Director, Center for Human Growth and Business Insights, Mechanicsburg, PA Tel 717-943.0959 A Psychologist, Online Life Coach, Marriage Counselor and Relationship Advice provider. Psychologist And Relationship Advice And Online Marriage Counseling

Online Counseling Psychologist Assessment: Empower Yourself First, Deal with Your Marriage Later

“My husband had been physically and emotionally abusive since even before we married. I think I became addicted to the drama of it.” These were the first words that K. told me during our initial Online Counseling session. “At night when our children sleep I would feel trapped unable to leave without waking them and risk letting them knows what was happening.” She continued.

Sometimes, as a Marriage Counselor, the most important thing to do is listening. Couples or individuals come to you hoping to find a kind voice and an open ear. K. seemed very much at this point where she just needed someone she could talk to. As a Psychologist, it is understood that this is an excellent place to be at as it reveals a self-realization about ones self and the situation they’re in.

As K. Continued to talk about her relationship I listened closely and supportively to what she had to say: “My husband and I have been married for nearly 10 years. This is my second marriage and his first. Over the course of 8 or so years there have been probably 50 or so incidents of physical aggression from him just shoving me up to him actually repeatedly hitting me. Many times this would occur after he had been drinking. Numerous times he would even go out on a drinking binge after work and just not come home.” K., in a somewhat shaky voice continued to tell me.

As K. spoke she seemed to relax slightly. I visualized her as someone who after a long hard period of traveling was able to take off their load and relieve themselves of a heavy burden. Soon she continued with her story becoming more at ease as she went. “I am ashamed to admit my main reason for not divorcing is money. I also feel a little ashamed that this would be my second divorce and I worry about how that would affect our children.” K. confided in me. “I deeply loved my husband when we were first married. I still love him and worry about him if we divorce. I don't know how to be in love with him anymore and I don't know how to want it to work like he seems to want. I don't know why I can't pull the trigger and just end it, or suck it up and take him back and try again.” K. told me.

At this point although I knew most of the details concerning the history of the abusive relationship I was not sure I completely understood the current context of this marriage. “Are you and your husband still together?” I inquired. “He… ah, he moved out a week ago and went to live with a friend.” She answered me in a somewhat quieter voice. K., I said, there was no good ‘quick fix’ reply for your situation. Quite honestly, there was no simple solution to such a very complex situation like yours. I advised her that Marriage Counseling that take some weeks and months, was very much needed if there was to be any chance of her relationship building itself back together again.

Internally I had numerous questions rushing through my head. Many, I knew would have to wait for the appropriate time. I did have one question, as a Marriage Counselor, that absolutely needed to be answered before we could continue to go any further: Do the both of you, do you think, want to try to make the relationship work? I asked her. I needed to see how much, if any, motivation was still left with K. and her estranged husband long experience. “I, I just don’t know. I mean I want to try to make it work, it’s what’s best for the kids I think.” She answered me. I listened to what she DID NOT SAY; she did not mention HERSELF. I then new that K. was not yet ready… Another process had to be called for, prior to ant Marriage Counseling attempt.

I therefore assured K. that since I’m not a lawyer, I was not going to replace her decision making process and try to produce the answers for her. As a Psychologist and a Life Coach it was my place to try to facilitate the process of EMPOWERING her decision making ability, allowing her to boost HER ability to produce the best possible outcome through HER own personal choices and decisions. It was my job therefore to help her continue on the path she had herself finally chosen to start. She needed to continue on her journey of Self-Actualization and that I could help her to achieve that goal.

I advised K., that it was my opinion; that prior to re-constructing her marriage / family life she need first to start a dialogue with herself and only thereafter with her husband. This situation that she found herself in definitely required an on-going professional Marriage Counseling but the relationship issues were just too complex and she was too weak. I wanted to make certain that she understood therefore that a one time detailed Relationship Advice (free or as a paid service) would not be the right remedy.

Through an ongoing Online Marriage Counseling program, including both joint and individual sessions, K. and her husband managed to reconcile and were able to have a much more fulfilling and nurturing family and personal relationship.

Dr. Joseph Abraham, Director, Center for Human Growth and Business Insights, Mechanicsburg, PA Tel 717-943.0959 A Psychologist, Online Life Coach, Marriage Counselor and Relationship Advice provider. Psychologist And Relationship Advice And Online Marriage Counseling

The Marriage Counseling Relationship Advice: Male Partners Must Do It Too

As a Psychologist an understanding of behavior and providing Relationship Advice is what allows me to help people work through their troubles. Helping people to adjust their behaviors and better their relationships is one of life’s greatest rewards. It can be just the smallest thing or even just the slightest change in behavior which will allow them to have a more fulfilling and stronger relationship.

Through Online Marriage Counseling I get to observe, first hand, these changes and watch relationships blossom and become more fruitful. Seeing Relationship Advice or a long term Marriage Counseling process resulting successfully for a couple is a very heart-warming and it amazes me that sometimes it is the smallest of changes the bring about the most fulfilling results.

This was the case with J. who recently contacted me about some problems that had developed in her relationship. The development was not a new one, it had been inherent for quite some time and she had just finally reached the point where she couldn’t stand it any longer. “My husband thinks because he has a job and provides money that when he gets home from work he doesn't have to do anything.”

“I am not his freaking maid! It’s not my job to clean up his mess all the time.” J. angrily complained to me. Her voice seethingly bared all of her pent up frustration. She sounded like she was on the verge of tears from her built up frustration.

I had J. pause here for a moment. Many times when people come to Online Counseling the first time they are, understandably so, overcome with emotion. I therefore advised J., “collect yourself and your thoughts for a moment; then continue.” J took a couple of deep breathes and then noticeably calmer began to tell me about her situation.

“He gets home from work, takes his boots and socks off and just leaves his dirty laundry right in the middle of the living room. Even when I did have a job he still never helped around the house. He comes home all the time complaining cause the house is dirty. I do clean up but I have a 2-year-old that just make messes again. My husband thinks that I should follow my 2-year-old around the house all day cleaning up her mess and if I don't I am a bad mother.”

I couldn’t help but notice her using the possessive term “I” here. Wanting to make sure I fully understood the situation I inquired about it. “Is the two year old his?”

J. told me. “No, it’s mine from a previous relationship.” I advised J. to continue her story.

“I do work at home. I do daycare watching a 4 month old right now. Also I do the shopping, cooking, cleaning and the laundry. He gets home and does nothing!” Her voice is faltering slightly giving way to her agitation.

J. finishes up her explanation of her current situation by relating to me two distinct instances that expressed her growing frustration about the issues she has with her husband. “He is supposed to fold the laundry but can’t even manage that. I wash the laundry and put it on the counter so he can fold it later. It just sits there! I even told him I wasn't washing anymore of his laundry until he folds the laundry on the counter. He still refused and called me lazy.”

“After I cook dinner, I expect him to load the dishwasher. Most times I end up waking up in the morning and having to load it after he goes off to work. There are days where I’ll just let the dishes stack up. When he asks, “What’s for dinner?” I tell him, “Well since I have no dishes to cook on, nothing.” He ends up just ordering pizza or going to a fast food place and the dishes still just sit there.”

When J. finished her initial observation of her situation, she asked a question I found to be very curious. “Is there a reason men think because they go to work they don't have to help around the house?”

I wanted to get a little more information from J. So I turned the question around and asked her. “Do you think there is a reason men think because they go to work they don't have to help around the house?”

J. replied. “I don’t think there’s any reason a guy can’t help around the house. Most of the guys I know don’t though. My friend’s boyfriends, my father and brothers and my previous boyfriend, they didn’t help around the house at all. None of them. I don’t get it.” She concluded.

From a Psychologist perspective, I offered my professional point of view: we could assume that this is his way to show dominance and control. A related explanation is that this is his way to retaliate about something that he felt was unfair to him and a common way of doing so employs the ‘Passive-Aggressive’ mode. These are too far away speculations, I said, so we have to gather more information; but let us assume that this is the case here. If indeed so, do not worry, I continued: marriage is a reciprocal chain of behaviors. Something within one spouse’s actions triggers the others, which means that you can do things that would effect and change your husband’s behavioral pattern.

The ground for a mutual Marriage Counseling work was established. My professional Psychologist assessment triggered the husband to join and participate in a structured Online Marriage Counseling process. No, it was not a quick-fix Relationship Advice; but yes, it was done within less than two months; only six counseling sessions were needed in order for them to move into a different, happier and more equality fulfilling lifestyle.

Dr. Joseph Abraham, Director, Center for Human Growth and Business Insights, Mechanicsburg, PA Tel 717-943.0959 A Psychologist, Online Life Coach, Marriage Counselor and Relationship Advice provider. Psychologist And Relationship Advice And Online Marriage Counseling

The Psychologist Dilemma: Marriage Counseling issue or Sexual deviant topic?

This article summarizes the initial stage of an Online Marriage Counseling process.

Recently I was contacted by N. that told me she had been in what she thought was a great marriage for several years. During those years her husband regularly spent usually 3 nights out every week that were “work related”. Eventually after several years N. grew suspicious of this behavior but was never able to catch him doing anything herself. Finally N. hired an investigator to follow him. The findings were that he would drive around all night and talk to many different women.

N. confronted her husband about his behavior and he confessed “I had been an exhibitionist for 20 years.” N. was shocked by her husband’s revelation. She decided to stay in her marriage until she recently felt like she had done everything she could to try to hold it together.

During the year since she confronted her husband they had tried very hard, together in the beginning, to make it work; they had attended local Marriage Counseling. However, after a few counseling sessions and support meetings her husband had quit going to the counseling session. “Dealing only with my problem cured me”, he said. Since the end of their Marriage Counseling sessions together there had been a few very suspicious occasions. The husband of course denied anything happened each time.

In a state of despair N. came to me and advised me: “I feel like he is a pervert.” This was eventually followed by her question: “Am I crazy to consider trying to go on with him at this point? Everyone in my life seems to think so”.

As a Psychologist I started thinking objectively. “What are the real issues occurring here?” N. of course was agitated and feeling despair about the whole situation but what was the underlying cause for it all. After a little more counseling time with N. it became obvious to me that the biggest issue for HER was the issue of trust. It seemed she felt she couldn’t truly trust her partner anymore. Trust is of course key in any relationship. But what was HIS issue?

It is my habit to finalize the initial Online Marriage Counseling session with a clear expression of my opinion at this particular time: it seems to me that his behavior is more of a Marriage issue than a Sexual deviant counseling topic. I further explained that what they really both needed was renewed Marriage Counseling; not just individual sex counseling for him. Actually, by keeping his behavior hidden, I suggested, he tried to save your marriage… Could it be that your husband did not trust you as a good listener for his relationship, erotic and sexual needs? This was indeed a suggestion and a way of understanding the issue that she never took it as worthwhile to consider.
The other theme that I advised to look at was the ‘motivation factor’: you need to let HIM make the effort of trying to rebuild the relationship, by dealing with his needs and sexual aspirations with you, I suggested. Either he agrees to start intensive and serious marriage counseling - or send him out of this marriage. I advised N. that she should not be the one putting forth all the effort.

The last issue in our initial session was the reservations due to the past attempt to solve the difficulty. They have tried Marriage Counseling in the past. I therefore explained that the previous effort went to a wrong direction – HIS deviance, and not THEIR relationships, communication and sexuality. That is why, I said, Marriage Counseling processes could be beneficial.