“I like the dreams of the future better than the history of the past.” Thomas Jefferson
Jillian has been working on her marriage – trying to make it better – for a long time. She and her husband have been together for 28 years. Things between them were fine at first, even nice, but they were so young and that was so long ago. Then they began having children and spent the next two decades just trying to keep their head above water while growing their family business, running the home, and raising three rowdy boys. But now the boys are (nearly) grown and what remains in the marriage feels like not enough.
Jillian wasn’t ready to throw in the towel and walk away because there was a long history there, but she knew she needed help for change to occur. Two years ago, she began seeing a therapist and she’s been going religiously for two years every other week. Each session was $125.
She and I were speaking and she was still struggling…still questioning whether to stay or go…still needing things inside her marriage to change. I asked her, “You’ve been going to a therapist for two years. Why do you think you haven’t made the progress you would like?” And she shared with me that now she knows why she chose her husband and why they can’t see eye-to-eye. She knows about all her childhood stuff that shows up repeatedly in her life and she understands herself better. But the marriage doesn’t feel much better.
Two years and $6500 invested later and still not the result she was seeking.
This isn’t terribly uncommon.
Therapy is beautiful for understanding your past. Where it tends to fall short is in helping you create a different future.
The tools therapy relies upon are to help you understand yourself better; they have all sorts of interesting labels about co-dependency, attachment issues, obsessive-compulsive disorder, passive-aggressive behavior, depression and anxiety. And truly knowing yourself and how you got to this place is helpful.
But now what?
What Jillian needs to change her future are tools that she can begin incorporating so that the way in which she engages with her husband begins to change.
So, now she’s getting equipped with those tools so she can give her marriage the very best possibility of feeling good for her. And it won’t take two years or $6500.
And I couldn’t be more excited to be working with her.
If you’ve been in counseling or therapy for a while and your marriage still doesn’t feel any better and you still don’t have real clarity about whether you should stay or go, maybe it’s time for a new approach.
I’m not a therapist. I will not be diagnosing you. I will not help you heal any childhood traumas.
I am a coach who will equip you with real tools and support. I will help you overcome obstacles. I will help you get from where you are to where you want to be. And we will do in a matter of weeks what it takes others months or years.
If you’re done focusing on your past and know that it’s time to turn your gaze toward your future, I hope you’ll keep me in mind.
I put together an ebook about the effectiveness of marriage counseling specifically as it relates to struggling marriages, comparing and contrasting therapy / counseling with coaching (#clearlybiased). It’s called, Can Marriage Counseling Help? Consider it my free gift to you.