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.
Have you ever been in a situation that left you feeling like you did something wrong or that nothing you do is good enough? Maybe a situation that left you feeling excluded and wondering how you can fix it? What if I told you that often times situations, other’s behavior towards you, particular outcomes or whatever circumstances may actually have nothing to do with you.
There’s no other way to say it, but loss is painful. When we think about loss, we most often think of an actual passing, a loss that is identified with the individual or loved one no longer being here on Earth. I’d like to point out, however, that loss comes in many forms and, often times, those losses can feel almost as significant. In fact, you are experiencing a death of some kind; one that must also be grieved.
The way our minds process grief and loss truly is interesting. I recently heard that research studies have shown through brain scans that the loss of a relationship looks the same as an addict who is experiencing withdrawal. When our brains are missing what once was, the brain will release the same chemicals that indicate a “need” for whatever that “thing” is. We miss the familiarity, the comfort, the habits and the routine that the partner, job, drug, etc provided.
In just about a blink it’s going to be 2018. This last month of the year will fly by. But before it does, let’s take a few minutes to brainstorm how to set some good boundaries and make the most of this holiday season.
The first question to think about is, “What’s the priority this season? What is going to take precedence over everything else?” The reality is that life is always going to be throwing things at us, trying to tell us what is more important. And to be real, when I say life, I also mean people. Friends, family, your crazy Aunt Suzie, the “Jones” next door, social media, etc. are all going to try to tell us what to be invested in.