Lets face it, contemporary relationships are a mine field. As a therapist I have seen couples suffering from addictions, affairs, anger, resentment, codependency, communication problems, control issues, depression, exhaustion, financial problems, loss of self, parenting problems, personality differences, emotional alienation, and stress.
Bay Area couples are beset by problems earlier generations never dreamt of. How can couples make love work in this age of dual careers and changing sex role expectations, stress from exhaustion and overwork, communication problems and personality differences, the baggage of past relationships and experiences; all while raising children and or step-children and coping with extended family? With all the problems that can affect any couple, relationships that survive seem nothing short of miraculous
Today, divorce rates are higher than ever in U. S. History.. Exhausted and angry adults give up and leave their marriages and their children Yet, hope springs eternal… so people continue in their re-coupling efforts not realizing that they are very-highly likely to repeat their past relationship behaviors until they can learn new ways of being. (It is commonly known that the statistics on the success rates of second and third marriages are even worse than first marriages.)
Although, the majority of relationship problems are solvable once they are adequately sorted out and understood, many couples do not seek out professional help until it is too late. Frequently, by the time some couples seek help they feel completely hopeless. Often, one of them has already withdrawn (emotionally) and given up on the relationship. Therapy is often seen as a “last ditch” effort although in actuality it is much more effective when it is used as a “first line of defense.”
In my own marital history I have been widowed twice, divorced once and am now happily re-married. I have seen all of the above mentioned issues have an effect on my relationships, some with devastating results. My last marriage of 13 years was wonderfully happy and although we had our disagreements and stuck points; the one agreement we were united in was our desire to immediately seek out the help of our therapist for any problem we could't resolve between ourselves. Misunderstandings instead of becoming “deal breakers” have became sources of deeper understanding and appreciation for each other.
Troubled couples, please come to therapy before it is too late! You must meet today’s more sophisticated pressures with more sophisticated resources. Counseling is more relevant and useful than ever before. In the absence of yesterdays village elder, todays wise couples in crisis turn to their family therapist.
Victoria Hoobyar, M.S. is a Licensed Marriage Family Therapist at Sequoia Counseling Services. She has had extensive training in Neuro-linguistic Programming (NLP), Brief Therapy and is the developer of the Couples Integrative CounselingTM.