January 2012 Entries
I received a call yesterday from a 29 year-old woman who was in obvious distress. Married for seven years, she was inquiring about marriage counseling. “What is the problem?” I asked. “It’s hard to say exactly,” she said. “It’s just not what I want in a marriage.” Paula seemed unusually vague with her concerns. “How would you rate your marriage?” I asked. “I don’t know,” she said slowly.
“It seems like I’m always irritated at her,” Greg said to me, referring to his wife of seven years. “I don’t know if it’s me being grumpy or what, but so many things she does just bug me.” Greg and Lori had been coming to see me for marriage counseling for the past two months, and he had asked for an individual session.
Most couples have “hot issues” they would rather not talk about. These are the topics that bring instant tension. They may have been talked about in the past, unsuccessfully. Because the issues are “hot”, and are likely to create stress and tension, many couples avoid them—indefinitely. Such was the case with Garth and Jena, who had a mountain of “hot issues” they had accumulated over their 20-year marriage.
Becky came to the Marriage Recovery Center in the throes of marriage stress. Her husband of 15 years was leaving her and she was anxious to make him stay. She had begged him to come with her for marriage counseling, but he insisted he was in no emotional place to work on their marriage. Cal wanted “time to think things over”.
“You don’t care how I feel,” Laura said angrily to Stephen. He winced at her words. “That’s ridiculous,” Stephen blurted, her words, however, striking a chord with him. She had made that accusation before and each time her words cut a little deeper. He wondered if some part of her words might be true. “Why ridiculous?” she demanded. “If you really cared about me, you’d listen to me..."