Tag Archives: marriage counseling

Should you Separate to Save your Marriage?


A friend of mine told me recently that she and her husband had a trial separation a few years ago. I was shocked! I always thought of this husband and wife as the ideal married couple. I had no idea they ever had issues.

In addition, I was shocked that they decided to separate for a short while, and also that it helped bring them back together.

Long story short, the husband had been lying to his wife for several months regarding his standing in college. When the letter came in the mail saying he had lost his scholarship, she was so hurt. Not only had he been failing his classes, he had dropped out but kept telling her about how well he was supposedly doing.

It was a rough time for them. He had lost her trust, and he didn’t know what to do. It was hard for the wife to be in the same house with him because of the cloud of hurt feelings over her head. Things like this tend to get into every other facet of the relationship. She kept thinking, What else had he lied about? Or what will he lie about in the future?

In the end, they decided she would take the kids and stay with her family until he fixed things with school, and then they both would decide how to move forward.

It was not an easy transition to separate, and also it was not easy to come back together again. But the break gave her some space so she could forgive him, and the break gave him some space to focus on what he needed to change.

When she came back into their home, she could see the changes in him, and she appreciated his effort. He also was glad to have her home and vowed never to keep secrets from her again.

Marriage is not for wimps! And sometimes taking a break from each other takes more strength than sticking it out. Separation could even be the way to save marriage instead of leading to divorce.

You may be thinking, isn’t it counter intuitive to be away from someone you are trying harder to love? Don’t you have to be together to work on the relationship?

But, when you can’t say anything nice to each other, you can’t agree on things, or there are bad feelings that just won’t go away, sometimes spending more time together as a couple just makes things worse.

You may be ready for a period of separation if: Continue reading

Does Marriage Counseling Really Work?


You may have heard that marriage counseling is the best thing a couple has ever done and how it saved their marriage.  You may also have heard that it was a total waste of time and money.  The reality is that marriage counseling does work for some couples, but not for others.  Whether it will help your marriage depends on you, your spouse, your counselor and your desire to save your marriage.

Marriage counseling is usually not an easy choice to make.  By the time you consider counseling, your marriage is often in trouble and you may be wondering if trying to save it is even worth the trouble.  Even couples who are ready to file for divorce can benefit from counseling, if both spouses are willing to make an effort to try and rekindle their love and passion.

To find a counselor, you can ask your family doctor or a minister for recommendations or search your local phone book.  Family and friends could be good places to ask, too, but many people don’t want others to know they are considering counseling.  If you have already spoken to a lawyer, you may even ask him/her if they have a recommendation.

Remember that once you have your list of marriage counselors, you may need to meet a few before you find one that you and your spouse are comfortable with.  Your sessions will involve very personal discussions and for your counseling to be effective, you both need to be able to share your thoughts and feelings openly.  

You will also need to respect the counselor so you can take his/her advice and not feel as if you are being put down for your feelings or criticized for choices you have made.

When you are searching for your counselor, you may want to ask the following questions: Continue reading

The Importance Of The People Around You

sky dive

One of the hardest things that people in recovery from an addiction have to deal with is their relationships with the people in their world. While dependency and co-dependency often go hand in hand, there are also more peripheral relationships that can be toxic to a person in recovery. These toxic people are so negative, so dark and so destructive that they have to be removed from your life to allow helpful, positive and supportive people to come in.

Toxic people are all around us in the world. In my book, “The Law of Sobriety”, I talk about the effects of these individuals. Often they are very subversive and covert in their negativity, which can be even more difficult to understand. It may be hard to explain and see the havoc they are causing at first glance. Key signs of a toxic person to your recovery include:

  • A person that always sees that the glass is half empty and never sees the glass as half full.
  • The person that always just wants to “reality check” if something is a good decision, particularly if it is something that would take you in a direction away from them. The reality check always results in you deciding not to do that specific thing.
  • A person that always makes you feel unsettled, unhappy or dissatisfied with your life or some aspect of your life whenever you are around them.

These people often have a very strong influence on a person in recovery. They can tear down all the hard work that the addict and the therapist do, but it is always done under the guise of trying to be a friend. Friends don’t discourage, friends encourage. Friends don’t focus on the negative, they encourage you to stay positive and move forward in your life.

Getting a toxic person out of your life is often a difficult issue to deal with. However, once you have that negativity out of your environment you will find that positive people come in to fill that gap, inspiring you to keep moving forward and seeking new opportunities as you move down the road of recovery.

Sherry Gaba LCSW, Psychotherapist, Life & Recovery Coach is featured Celebrity Rehab on VH1. Sherry is the author of “The Law of Sobriety” which uses the law of attraction to recover from any addiction. Please download your  free E books at http://thelawofsobriety.com/store/   Contact Sherry at sherry@sgabatherapy.com for webinars, teleseminars, coaching packages and speaking engagements. Listen to Sherry on “A Moment of Change with Sherry Gaba”on CBS Radio

Creative Commons License photo credit: Bilal Kamoon


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