Couples in crisis are facing dramatic changes in their lives.
You might be on the verge of a break-up…
Maybe there is suspicion or early signs of infidelity.
You’re fighting more and can’t find ways to resolve your problems.
Feelings of abandonment or neglect are causing a rift… “Am I being silly or paranoid?”
Financial burdens could be stretching you both thin. When you start to make a dent in your debt, something new comes along and wipes out your progress.
Fear of the future…
It is difficult to concentrate on daily life when stress is pressing down on you.
We focus on our problems, and our minds seem to get flooded. We’re thinking, “I’ve got to get a control over this” and “what am I supposed to do?”
You start a task but can’t finish it. You begin to spin.
I’ve seen many clients who are just walking through the fog – unfocused and exhausted. With the help of God, we begin to break the problems down into individual events and what we can begin to do differently from what hasn’t been working.
I want to help you find the answers you seek.
We’ll roll up our sleeves and get into the details you want to focus on but can’t. God will be there with us helping with the challenge.
Before we roll up the sleeves, I like to ask general questions about your life and generally what is going on. This will give you a chance to start where you want to go with your initial thoughts. And then we branch off into specifics.
We’ll go through anger tools, effective communication, the Christian family, and criticism – how to give it and how to take it.
Megan’s* husband unexpectedly walked out on her…
…leaving her with two teenage girls who had no idea mom and dad were having troubles. She emailed me, then we talked on the phone… then scheduled an appointment.
Megan is a lawyer but never practiced, because she opted to stay at home with the children while her husband, Logan, persued his career in medicine.
Both were willing to come to family counseling for the sake of the children. Megan is hoping for a restoration of the marriage. Logan isn’t so sure.
They both came to counseling for their first session; and, after an opening prayer, I learned more from them.
Logan* opens up…
“I hated to leave my family. I love them all, but Megan and I just can’t communicate. She uses my words against me.”
But there was more to his story. For years, he had been quietly plotting to get away from Megan but was afraid of any kind of conflict with her because of her tendency to scold him.
I asked him why Megan scolded him. He replied:
“I guess I don’t listen to her. That’s a big complaint. She says I tune her out. She also says that I’m messy, and I don’t see my clutter. She’s a nag. I hate nagging. My parents did that. It all mounts up. I guess I’m just not good enough for her.”
Logan added that he tends to escape his home problems by spending a lot of time on his phone – and that she doesn’t like that, either.
I also learned that their grown son is facing time in jail for driving under the influence.
Logan quietly mumbled, “We just can’t get a break.”
Megan opens up…
“I’ve been talking to past boyfriends on social media. Nothing ever came of it, but it was nice to talk to a man who appreciates me. Logan discovered the texts on my phone, and he believes me that it hasn’t gone any further.”
“I knew things weren’t right with me and Logan, but somehow I felt he would never really leave… even though he had threatened to do so for some time. Now that he’s gone, I’m just flooded with stress. I’m not sure what is going to happen to our family.”
I asked her what she thought about Logan’s words:
“I know I’m overly critical, but I don’t know where that comes from. I’ve been that way a long time, but isn’t an orderly home Christ-like?”
Some problems are so big that we just can’t solve them ourselves…
Megan and Logan now live in two separate homes. Megan is staying at the house with the girls, and Logan is in an apartment. Bills are not getting paid, and “something has to give,” according to Megan.
Before calling me, they decided to fix their own problems and made all kinds of promises to be nicer to each other. Megan has promised to try to curb her critical spirit and not to talk to men on social media.
Logan is working to make sure clothes are picked up and Megan’s honey-do list is completed on time. He’s also trying to be a better listener.
These small changes helped, but without a structured plan in place to keep from falling back into the same old arguments, their old behavior and anger returned.
Using God’s point of view to break the vicious cycle…
The Bible tells us to be patient and kind and not easily angered. But how do you get there? Where’s the road map? In addition, the Bible says to find a counselor who can help you. This is where I come in.
In our therapy session, we’ll begin with prayer.
The Holy Spirit is with us, and we are tapping into His infinite wisdom.
We’ll break down whatever problems you’re facing into small pieces… and start to solve each one of them.
After hearing Megan’s and Logan’s story, for example, I immediately noted two big issues – issues bigger than Megan’s criticism and Logan’s listening skills: Megan is talking to other men, and Logan is spending way too much time isolating on his phone.
We’ll also look at possible plans of action and test them in between sessions.
I asked both to create a log of areas of concern. I wanted Megan to think about how and when she criticized Logan. And I wanted Logan to write about particular times when he did a good job and a not-so-good job listening to Megan. In session, we’ll see how each of them did and areas where they can improve.
What do you need to do now?
For Logan and Megan, they are now in counseling with me working on solutions instead of spiraling down into more bitterness and anger.
What would happen if you picked up the phone and called me?
Here’s what happens. We spend about 15 minutes on the phone discussing your problems. Then if we both feel good about working together, we’ll set an appointment time.
Counseling provides a safe place where we can roll up our sleeves and get to work. Are you ready? Give me a call today: (916) 769-4673.
*Names changed to preserve client confidentiality.