Melanie burst into tears the minute they sat down in my office. “We got fired by our last marriage counselor,” she said between sobs. “He just sat back in his chair while Mike and I fought, and then he told me I was too angry. He never listened to me at all, and when I tried to talk about our problems he told me I was irrational.”
Not only had Melanie and Mike been fired by their therapist, but Mike had packed a suitcase and moved out of their Manhattan apartment. Things were headed downhill fast for these two successful professionals whose marriage was bringing out their most frightened, furious selves.
Marriage has an amazing capacity to bring out our inner two-year-old. The sheer hatred a partner can feel over a wet towel dropped on the floor or a forgotten errand is breathtaking. Once I was able to reassure Melanie that she was not crazy, that she had a right to be heard, and that she could learn new ways to express herself to Mike that he could understand and respond to, they began talking more calmly about their differences. Now in our sessions I began to see signs of real warmth between them. Their voices softened. They glanced at each other warmly, almost shyly. Mike reached across the sofa to pat Melanie’s hand.
You deserve marriage counseling that avoids labeling you, that offers structure and safety in the sessions, and that offers you practical new tools for sharing your concerns and longings with your partner. With energetic, educated support, you can work to put your marriage back on track.
Written by Jean Fitzpatrick, LP. All information is disguised in several ways for maximum confidentiality. Learn more about Jean at therapistnyc.com