Please note all details of any client have been removed to maintain confidentiality.
Sarah and Jacob had been married for 7 years. When they came to see me they were sitting on opposite ends of the sofa and within moments they would get locked into battles.
I could see the pain they both felt in both their eyes.
If you were in the room with me, you’d see their angry faces, loud voices, hear them blaming each other, each one trying to get their point across and no one listening.
I asked them, how invested are you in making this marriage work?
One thing allowed them to try and save their relationship one more time. For Sarah she didn’t want to be alone and make the same mistake of choosing a man like her father again. For Jacob, it was the kids and the family he wanted them to have.
I saw my role in helping them do two things: connect emotionally with each other by building reliance for support with one another. And second, give them the specific techniques on how to do that.
In sessions, I began to teach them to listen to one another. They began sharing the pain they both felt and experienced. Sarah shared the loneliness she felt. Jacob shared the love and joy he missed from their earlier relationship.
At home they used a mix of DBT interpersonal effectiveness skills and IMAGO dialogue skills to talk about their wants and needs. When they messed up, they used distress tolerance and mindfulness to center themselves and come back to each other.
After several months of working together and working hard on their relationship, Sarah and Jacob told me they were beginning to feel hope again.
Sarah was enjoying Jacob and doing things together. Jacob was able to connect with Sarah and share his emotions, his needs. There was less fighting and more laughter. More forgiveness.
Where are you in your relationship? Do you need support and find it hard to ask? Let me know what questions you have and how you can begin your journey of healing.