On the vulnerability of sharing success stories:
Sometimes a couple wants to share their story. We’re really appreciative of the vulnerability and trust such a feat takes, and we hope you appreciate these stories as well.
(Names have been changed to preserve the author’s privacy.)
If your relationship is struggling, or if you feel empowered to take preventative steps to keep your relationship in a good place, we’re here to work with all couples who are willing to put in the effort.
Great relationships can be built, rebuilt, and sustained.
James and Susan:
“A year ago I made the strongest decision of my life: I decided to ask for help with my marriage. I guess you would say my wife and I had the “typical” suffering marriage. We talked less and we fought more. It seemed like we were always critical or negative. We withdrew from each other in almost every way. Marriage became harder than it had ever been before. I finally agreed with Susan to give counseling a try.
I wanted to choose Glen for a variety of reasons, but the main one was because he’s done a lot of work with men, especially around anger issues. I didn’t really have an anger problem, but I figured someone who could help angry men probably wouldn’t be a waste of my time or money. Susan liked his experience and focus on couples therapy. (We actually agreed on him.)
I know I’m supposed to do more of our story than a testimonial, so I’ll just start with this: I had no idea what to expect in couples therapy. I didn’t know if it would be easy or if it would be really hard. To be honest, a year later, I think it’s a little of both.
The first month was definitely the hardest because a lot of stuff bubbled up to the surface. Luckily, Glen did two things that probably helped save us. First, he integrated a lot of positive behavior stuff. I didn’t think it would be that great but it was remarkably effective and really changed the way we spoke to and acted towards each other. He’ll be able to explain it better if you see him.
Second, he confronted me early on my work issues. This was a big issue for us, but Glen did it in a way where you could definitely tell he’s worked with guys before.
I didn’t want to storm out of his office. It was a breakthrough for me and led to some really powerful re-prioritizing.
We haven’t been in weekly counseling sessions for a whole year. We saw Glen pretty regularly for a few months while we worked through a bunch of stuff. Then we saw him once a month or once every 2 months just to check-in and talk together about our progress.
Now we’ve decided to see him 1 or 2 times a year. It’s more of a preventive thing (he calls it wellness) so we don’t run into the problems we had before. He knows us now and what we’ve been through which we really appreciate. We’re excited to start building on the strengths of our relationship.
I’ll say this to close: you have to be willing to make some changes in your life and in your marriage. The good news, at least for us, is that your relationship really can get better. I agree with the other couple who wrote their story and said 10 months ago they never believed their marriage could be this good again. Susan and I have experienced that too and that’s why we wrote this story for Glen. He really did help us and we’re incredibly grateful for the way in which he did it. Good luck with your new center Glen, you’re going to do a lot of people good.