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