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A Sad State of Affairs

By Jon Difatta  LPC, CDVP, PAIP

 

Studies have shown that 1 out of 2 marriages will end in divorce. No one gets married thinking they will be part of that statistic. But yet, this cycle persists. I counsel couples experiencing difficulties in their relationships and marriages. The number one question I ask my couples is, “Who taught you how to date?”. After a long pause I usually hear how people are “self-taught”, oh great! The most important decision of our life is to consider sharing the rest of your life together with a partner and possibly starting a family with and we “wing it!” Most people research for months on buying a new car, selecting a home, choosing a desirable career. But when it comes to our emotional, social, financial, sexual and sometimes physical well-being, we wing it? What factors in a relationship are signs of unhealthiness in a relationship? What are the signs of a healthy relationship. Do we consider these factors before we say, “I do”? What other causes are there of a relationship that might fail? Is it genetic (Allele 334 and DRD4 more specifically)? Education levels? Income levels? Family of origin? A heart rate of +100 BPM when discussing difficult conversations? I doubt anyone reading this has discussed this on a first date. And if you are on your date on a Wednesday night at a steakhouse, have I got news for you! More on that later. Physical attraction, compatibility and fascinations usually kick off most relationships. Then we get deeper and deeper and find our comfort level. How long does it usually take for us to truly know our partners? Again, more on that later. We wear many hats in our lives like an employee hat, sibling hat, neighbor hat, friend hat, parent hat, spouse hat, coach hat, a 2016 Championship Chicago Cubs hat… you get the point. There is a gentle balance in all those areas of our life. What I find interesting is that by the time a couple seeks counseling, they can’t even find their spouse hats anymore. Life just got in the way. Other priorities prevailed. They lost sight of their dating skills, which were self-taught anyhow, remember! They even lost touch with themselves sometimes. Then resentment, anger, bitterness and disconnect is brought into the relationship. We often forget what bonded us in the first place. I work with couples to bring the important aspects back into the relationship. In case of infidelity, we will work “together” to repair and realize “healing” is the goal, and that punishment is not the goal. We will discuss boundaries, rebuilding trust, emotional check-ins and dealing with triggers of the betrayal. If you are still in the “pre-marital” phase, we will explore the strengths and weaknesses of the relationship to help improve the chances of a long, healthy relationship. So, how long does it take to truly know your partner? About four seasons! Spring, summer, fall and winter. Each season has an emotional connection and life related affects. Spring = signs of possibilities, summer = things start heating up, fall = new adventure and winter = stillness, contemplation. The calendar states that this takes 12 months. In reality, it is closer to 18 months to 2 years to a relationship season. Now, the “more on that later” answers. I just had to make sure you read the important information first. Wednesday nights are the most likely nights for affairs to be conducted. And why not have a good meal while you are at it, Ruth’s Chris steakhouse is the number 1 preferred place to have this rendezvous in the Chicagoland area.  I am available to discuss your counseling needs Monday through Saturdays. I’m usually pretty busy Wednesday evenings, but I am sure I can fit you in. My sessions are gentle, informative and non-judgmental. Owens and Associates is staffed with the top professionals in the wellness field and we are pleased to meet your needs. You can direct any questions to Jon@owenscounseling.com or leave me a message at 847-854-4333.

 

In Peace,

 

Jon Difatta  LPC, CDVP, PAIP