Having worked with couples for over 20 years, there has been such joy to be on the front row seat witnessing healing and restoration. Being used as a vessel for God to show up and work miracles is no short of fulfilling. Recently, I worked with a couple who had been married 15+ years, finally gotten to the hard-worked-for chapter of retirement, found themselves not enjoying one another during this supposedly “golden” chapter of leisure and relaxation, and now living in two different cities separated and ready to call it quits. The lawyers were hired, the papers were filled out and awaiting signatures. One reached out and posed the question, “Are we sure?”
For years I worked with married couples in my practice resulting in personal frustration. They wouldn’t stay for the course and quit before the momentum finally offered them relief, they got better only to see them boomerang back in six months, or there was just too much pain to commit to the process without ensuring a proper payoff. I even considered stopping working with married couples altogether.
What comes to mind when I mention the words “premarital counseling”? To some, these words may trigger feelings of excitement to grow. For some, feelings of fear and not wanting to confront, and to others, possibly an assumption that something must be wrong with the relationship. These may happen and can be realities, but premarital counseling is not only necessary if you are unsure of marriage but also if you are looking to strengthen your future marriage.
Sometimes a few sessions into therapy, clients will ask questions like, “Will I always feel this way?” “How long until therapy feels like it is really working?” or “Why isn’t my husband or wife getting it yet?” Basically they are soliciting the question, “Is there anyway to make this go faster?” My response is usually something along the lines of, "well yeah, if I had the magic solution, I’d be living on a yacht right now making billions." However, in the instant gratification culture we live in today, it’s not surprising that our clients desire some quick, easy fix.
Ever wonder why that one bad interaction sticks with you all day? Or why the one bad play you made at your rec softball game discounts the fine job you did throughout the whole game? Or remember when you may have gotten all A’s on your report card but that one C stuck out like a sore thumb and made the whole marking period a wash? What is with us and negativity?