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

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