Feeling Trapped in the Maze - Part 3
Read the first two parts in this three part series here:
Three possible reasons people don’t go to counseling are:
1) Some people don’t understand the seriousness of their problem or situation. They believe that if they just ignore it, it will go away or resolve itself. We will just “get over it” as some often say. Over time it becomes the proverbial “elephant in the room” that we all try to ignore. Like my aunt recently told me when questioned about things in our family history, “We don’t talk about those things.” The problem is that over time the “elephant in the room” is triggered or we have accumulated so many “elephants in the room” that all of a sudden our lives and our relationships fall apart. To prevent this from happening to you and your relationships, don’t allow “elephants” to reside or accumulate in your life. Agree to go when your spouse/partner says, “Let’s go to counseling.” There are solutions to all of life’s issues!
2) Some people refuse to take responsibility for their part of the problem/conflict. Their focus is on blaming their spouse/partner. They refuse to change and say things like, “I’m not going to change until he/she changes first.” Whenever we make our behavior and emotional health contingent on the behavior and attitudes of someone else we become extremely vulnerable, stuck and outsource the control of our behavior and emotional health. I have worked with several women who are married to narcissistic men and are tired of being blamed for “everything” and are tired of being falsely accused and shamed. I work with these women to learn how to manage and survive these types of issues in their relationship. To prevent this we need to take responsibility for our own behavior, own our emotions and stop blaming others for how we feel and what we do. Also, we need to know what to do when we are being blamed for things that we are not responsible for.
3) Fear of change. Sometimes people are more comfortable with the chaos of the past and present and fear any significant changes. Some will say “This is the way I have always been and I am not changing.” Change is a process and for both individuals in the relationship change often looks and feels different. Before successful change can begin, one has to have a vision, an idea, as to what this change will look like. Change can also be uncomfortable when one individual is interested in changing and the other is not as interested or motivated. Also, when we talk about things that we want to change, it is not about shaming or blaming others but to begin to understand why we do the things that we do. It is about awareness and understanding and not blaming but owning the issues that belong to us.
We need to take our problems seriously, we need to take responsibility, and we need to become the change we want to see in our spouse/partner. This is a start of a life long journey that can change your life.
Don Short has a Master’s degree in Counseling and has been licensed as a Professional Counselor since 2003 (lic. # 2669). He is also a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (Lic. # 648) and has served as a Regional Director of Gulf Coast Social Services for over twenty-seven years.
Mr. Short is the owner of After Hours Counseling located in Lafayette, LA. His practice focuses on clients with marriage, relationship and family issues. He is a member of the American Association of Christian Counselors.
Contact After Hours Counseling 337-781-4565 or www.afterhourscounseling.com