Capacity for Change

A client was describing being estranged from his sister. Any consideration of reconciliation was non-existent. The sister was written off.

It made me think about how couples decide whether to reconcile or not. A couple I recently started with was separated a year. They are in constant conflict with one another, including working through infidelity. They are coming to couples counseling because they don’t want to break up a family. It’s clear that on their own they wouldn’t make it.

They ask me if there is any hope and I shrug my shoulders. Whether this couple makes it or not is based on their capacity for change. They will be required to talk to each other in a completely different way. When they refer to past conversations, the level of disrespect is palpable.

I can guide them to be more successful in their conversations with each other. However, their ability to change is the X factor in whether they make it. I hope they can make it but they have been on this road for a long time so I hope they have the courage to change direction.