“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