I’m a Single Guy (or Gal). Why Should I Talk to a Marriage Therapist?
Yeah, I work with married people, but I see a lot of formerly married people and a bunch of people who are thinking of marriage and many many single people about all kinds of things. Maybe my title is “Marriage Therapist.” Formally my license is “Marriage and Family Therapist.” I had to be licensed in order for me to be a mentor and a listener and a guide. In real life I’m a husband of 39 years (Love it! Love her!), a father of four, a grandfather of 3, a business owner, completed my Ph.D., a former pastor, youth director and camp director. I’ve even mowed lawn to make ends meet when I had a couple of little kids at home and was between jobs. I’ve had a few triumphs and some setbacks, figured out a few things and other times I’ve sought out help because I had no idea how to find my way out. Along the way I paid attention and learned a thing or two. I read a bunch and have talked to thousands of people, single and married, divorced and cohabiting. I haven’t heard it all, but I know what works and what will kick you in the butt. I’m a great listener and guide and a relationship guy and can give you an unbiased opinion, a reference point, a reality check, a cautionary red flag or a pat on the back.
You might be single, but everything in your life screams relationships and how you feel is the direct result of how you’ve handled those relationships and how they’ve treated you and your future is the sum total of the choices you’ve made to date and the choices you will be making regarding the relationships you are in or will be in. You have relationships with your boy or girl friends, your parents and friends, your sibs and coworkers, your intellect and society, God and your future, your past and your present, your dreams and failures, your hopes and disappointments, your successes and your pain. How you relate to all these things influences the trajectory of your life. You can’t control certain things. Other things you can control. It’s wisdom to know the difference and having a reference point from an unbiased third party can be a real encouragement, help you make peace with the past and/or figure out where to go from here.
Frankly, I can save you a lot of grief. I can point you in the right direction or help you weigh your options or assist you in looking at the pros and cons of a decision or an impulse or a temptation or a longing or a frustration. I can help you make peace with past mistakes or learn to let go of the hurt of others.
It’s nice to get an unbiased point of view. I’m not in your sphere of influence. I go home to my wife at night. I have my own family, my own interests, my own life. I know the consequences of this decision and that action. I’ve seen it thousands of times. I’m not afraid to share it. I’m a great listener, but I’m candid, too. I’m not mean about it. Forthright. Refreshing, actually.
Your friends are nice, but maybe too nice. Their experience is limited. They like you and don’t want to hurt you. Rare is the friend that will actually tell you like it is and even if they do, they are so close you may doubt their wisdom in the matter. Family is the same way. They love you (well….most of the time) and don’t want you to be hurt, but often are too kind or even, sadly, too critical, making it difficult to take their direction (demands?) seriously. Getting a different point of view from the outside from someone who isn’t in the mix, but has guided myriads of others, can be a boon and a real encouragement.
And look, a lot of us have mucked up our dating relationships or maybe there’s been previous relationship hurt or someone’s cheated on you or you’ve cheated on someone or porn or alcohol or video games or whatever is just too interesting and your conscience is kicking into gear, but you’re just not sure what to do about it, or you notice you aren’t too motivated to do anything or your boss is driving you crazy and otherwise you like your job or your mom is on your case or you can’t seem to get out of debt or you can’t sleep or you sleep too much or you wonder if this or that choice is the best option or you can’t seem to let go of past hurts or you wonder if you keep doing _____ what will be the consequences or you just want to get a bunch of crap out of your head. Or maybe you are just sick of being single and wonder if there’s a reason and is there anything you can do to be proactive about that without being overly needy, if you get my drift.
And you don’t have to be nervous about coming in. Really. A lot of people have told me they were scared to “go to counseling.” Or they are “just not the type to open up.” And then about two minutes into it they are off and telling me stuff they’ve never told anyone before and they can’t believe they waited this long or what a relief it is to actually have someone listen to them and track with them and understand them and when can we set up our next appointment?
But don’t take my word for it. Give us a call and try it on for size.