Helping couples make the right decision about the rest of their lives is a huge responsibility I take very seriously. The future of their relationship and family hangs in the balance of me getting their strategy right to give them clarity.
Some couples have done what they can themselves but are stuck. Some have sought help but are either stuck or still no further forward.
A sentence I hear often is I’m their “Last Chance Saloon”.
Some people call in because they have a partner who has no interest in seeking help and these people feel very lost and alone – so today’s post is to help those people learn where there is hope.
Being stuck or trapped is a horrible place to be and below I’m going to share the story of one couple who had hit a crisis, he wanted help and she really wasn’t interested – her mind was made up.
This is what happened to a desperate man that came on his own to save his family from divorce.
Most people think that if you are going to deal with a couple’s problem you need both people to attend this is not always true because there is a strategy to help both people engage through one person.
BTW I’m always delighted to help someone who is happy to fight for their marriage/family on their own.
He shared the story of his wife leaving the family home with their two children and he was desperate to get them back.
After he shared his story and his interpretation of their marriage history I provided him with the plan and the strategy that his must follow if he was to give himself the best possible chance of engaging her.
He spent the first four weeks with me learning why she was likely to have left and what he could start doing that could help him. Interestingly his actions when I first met him were still proving to his wife she should stay away from him.
So I had to help him understand how she would interpret his actions past and present.
Essentially he had to learn how to become firstly emotionally safe for her to be around so she could be in a situation to be attracted back to explore the relationship.
I wasn’t looking to fix this couples because it’s possible that she was right to leave but I know she won’t be seeing the bigger picture which is critical when she also making decisions for her children too.
His anger and lack of understanding of her had made her feel so alone she became desperate and when their frustration had started to affected the children she packed her bags and left.
I could see very clearly why she left and so I set up ways he could respect her needs by bringing a far more attractive and safer energy.
After four weeks he had made real progress with her and their interaction had softened this enabled me to invite her in on her own to hear her story.
She arrived very guarded/suspicious not wanting to be manipulated back into a bad marriage. She started by telling me she was DONE and confirmed the experience I expected her to have in the marriage based on what he had shared with me.
She had clearly lost connection with herself and him as she tried to keep the marriage together. She had begged him to seek counselling, but he ignored her telling her the problems were her fault. She became exhausted and when the kids became affected that was the last straw.
But she told me she was very confused…
She told me she had seen a marked change in her husbands’ behaviour and had to come in and find out what had happened, she stressed this changed nothing and marriage was definitely still over.
In her meeting with me I talked to her about what I had learnt about him but focused most of the session on helping her learn some tools she could employ in her life to gain control of her feelings and emotions and what she must never do again if she were to ever find herself in a relationship again.
She was clearly hungry to learn after I had sparked her interest – she met with me for 4 further meeting on her own.
She started to understand herself so much better and what her own personal mission was. She opened up to learn about why the marriage had really failed and what part she had played in that.
She started to learn that as a couple they had done their best, but through a total lack of knowledge of what they were doing, they had both reacted badly to each other resulting in the collapse of their marriage.
I shared with her what was happening for him and why he was really so angry.
I also told her that his anger cannot be their strategy to deal with their problems which is why I have helped him to stop that kind of controlling behaviour.
I thanked her for her time with me and then gave her a choice she could leave the process, or she could attend meeting with her husband to discover what they were capable of with the right information.
She decided to attend couples sessions but only to explore and with no promise. She wanted to take her time to make sure the changes he had made we’re going to stay.
Six months from when I first met him she moved back into the family home this time with the right understanding of their roles and how to understand each other’s words and actions.
The mission was not to glue this couple back together but to discover with the right information they could create a dynamic that could work for them both.
Then two intelligent people could NOW decide their future without regrets.
One person alone can make a massive impact on the couple’s dynamic but what that person needs to do is not obvious but is something that can be learnt.
Over the next few weeks, I have many “Last Chance Saloon” stories to share to help you become curious about your situation and what’s possible with the right strategy.
- Next story is about the man that had a two-year affair and what I had to do to help them get to their truth.