Therapist grew from divorce encourager into "marriage saver"
May 20, 2011
In "Confessions of an Unabashed Marriage Saver", Michele Weiner-Davis says she started out in the 1970s as a conventional family therapist of the time - "when couples failed to improve, rather than look at my own lack of experience, I assumed that the impasses in their relationships were due to their irreconcilable differences. ... 'Have you ever wondered whether you might just be incompatible?' I'd ask. 'Are you really happy with her? Have you considered a trial separation?' When my clients wondered about the impact of divorce on their children, I was emphatic: 'You can't be a good parent if you're not happy. Don't worry, your children will be resilient.'"
But after seeing over the years how her parents' mid-life divorce was still affecting her, her brothers and her own children, she "became determined to help the couples in my practice improve their relationships ... I developed a couples approach called Divorce Busting. I teach couples skills that combat hopelessness, which I'm convinced is the number one killer of marriages. I've learned, over time, that hope can grow in the most unlikely situations - when only one spouse agrees to come to therapy, when one spouse claims he or she wants out or has already filed for divorce, when people seem more intent on being right than on being happy, when infidelity dampens trust. The capacity of people to reopen their hearts to each other never fails to humble me."
Psychologists often ponder why people who were so in love with each other at the beginning of a marriage are so out of love at the end of it. What happened? Did they grow apart? Often, the divorce relates to a lack of agreement on priorities between husband and wife and, more often than not, low sex drive (which at the end of the marriage is really more a symptom of the failed relationship than a medical problem). Major areas of mismatch priorities include raising the kids, money, sex, work, friends, other family, and leisure activities. Finally, either the man or woman (or both) will decide that the other one is “wrong” and acting selfishly, at which time they choose to stop working on the relationship. This is when hurt feelings get worse, resentment and anger build, and relationships are ultimately torn apart. In most instances, no matter who started it, both spouses have contributed to the problem. http://www.newportpsychotherapy.com/psychology_topics/divorce_marriage_therapy_therapist.html
Posted by: newport | August 09, 2011 at 07:24 AM