A very distressed lady rang CityLife Community Care asking for help.  Her husband had just told her he was leaving their marriage of 10 years. She had pleaded with him to come to one counselling session before he left. He did come and said he no longer felt any love for his wife. He said “I see no hope at all. I believed ‘happy wife, happy life’, but I can’t make her happy and now I don’t even feel like trying.”

The counsellor suggested there must have been something good to keep the relationship for 10 years despite their unhappiness. They agreed that there had been good times and they both wished it could have worked. The husband then said “If you can convince me by the end of this session that there is a chance I can work through these feelings and be happy with my wife again, I’d be willing to give it one more go - but I don’t think there’s any hope”. He then burst into tears. In fact, he and his wife both cried through the whole session.

Hope came when they learned that neither of them was responsible for the other’s happiness, as being happy is a choice we each make for ourselves. It was suggested that they commit to learning and using some different communication and conflict resolution strategies for 3 months before making any decision as to the future of the relationship.

At the end of that time, both were excited and very positive. They said “It’s like starting afresh. Learning to talk to each other respectfully and discussing things openly has changed everything for us.”

Posted in June 2019

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