My wife and I had been married 22 years when we came to Well Marriage Center for help. Sydney is a night-owl and has always liked reading in bed until late. I had found a new job that forced me to be up early in the morning. I started sleeping in our guest room and bringing my clothes with me for the next morning. Before we knew it, I was pretty much living in the other room and we were stuck in a rut. We had been sleeping apart for about 3 years. This destroyed our intimacy and had us both feeling very disconnected with each other. I don’t think I realized how alone each of us felt in our marriage until Sydney told me she didn’t know if our marriage would make it. She described it as a “catastrophic disconnection.” We needed help. What we appreciated about Michael Fronce from the very beginning was his confident and warm demeanor. He spent the first meeting learning all about what had initially attracted us to each other and what had allowed us so much marital success before now. I swear we left that first session feeling really upbeat and hopeful. That set the tone for all the work we were about to do. Michael worked with us on the concept of “us” and the concept of “team.” He helped us explore some pretty deep attachments we had formed and how they had been injured, damaged or rerouted over the previous few years. He wanted me to be honest with this write-up, so let me just say, it’s really vulnerable work. Good marriage counseling probably doesn’t work unless you are both able to humble yourselves. But when you start to feel that trust come back and that safety come back…it’s worth it! Sydney and I together decided to redesign our bedroom and create a space we could both feel good about and comfortable in. We had equal say and worked through it with Michael. Over the past several months we’ve broken out of our ruts and have changed our routines. We’re feeling truly excited to have our connection back. Bottom line: we felt really confident in Michael from the very beginning which was a big deal for both of us considering we had friends who had bad marriage counseling experiences. We could tell he knew what he was doing. I’d recommend him to all my friends. Both Sydney and I have told Michael that his support, knowing we weren’t alone, had made all the difference in the world.
After thirty some years together, I had always thought our marriage was in good shape, and that the ‘bumps in the road’ were typical of most marriages. But it was only after my wife took the step to reach out for help through the Well Marriage Center that I began to face the reality that from my wife’s perspective and experience things were not as good as I thought, and no matter how much our marriage may have been typical of any relationship of substantial duration, there was always room for improvement.
From the first conversation we had, I had to face the fact that making the time to listen to each other was sorely needed in ours. While I questioned at first whether we needed outside help to do so, I’m so glad now that my wife pressed the issue and that we have followed through on our commitment to each other to make the investment of time in our marriage and to work on making our good relationship better. I’ve benefited from the time that we’ve had to really listen to each other at our sessions and for me to put many of my assumptions and my explanations aside and to really hear my wife’s frustration with my patterns of behavior over the years.
Our process individually and together at the Well Marriage Center has also helped us build on what was and is a good relationship by taking the time to recognize what has made it such. I’ve particularly benefited from identifying the ruts that I’ve fallen into that seem to go hand in hand with us men and that, while benefiting me on many levels in my life, tended to isolate me and work against me in my relationship with my wife. Being able to talk with the therapist and coach, and with my wife, about those behaviors in a non-judgmental and accepting environment has been liberating and relationship changing. Looking back, I wished I had pursued such an opportunity much sooner.
In truth, I’m amazed that my wife put up with me as long as she did, and at the same time I’m grateful that she gave me this chance – certainly way beyond a second chance – to work with her at the Well Marriage Center on smoothing out our bumps in the road. Many of which have been my own.
10 months ago before seeing Glen Denlinger, I was fed up with my marriage and was ready to leave my wife. Now I am more happily married than I believed was possible. Both my wife and I have changed long standing habits that got each of us in trouble individually and caused havoc to our relationship. Due to Glen’s positive approach we spent considerable time the last several sessions naming and identifying what brought about the improvement. We both see very clearly what is working for us now. Recently we’ve been meeting monthly, today we scheduled our next appointment out 3 months.
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