When I started marriage counseling with Brad and Kim, I didn’t know if they would make it. They were separated for a little over half a year and were previously separated for about a year and a half. Before kicking him out, Kim discovered that Brad was having a relationship for two years, and he had brief relationships with others throughout their marriage. He also had a significant history of alcohol and drug use, although he was currently sober and attending AA since moving out.
In one of our early sessions, I gave Brad feedback on how he could be more effective with Kim in the session. He pushed back and challenged me, saying it wasn’t clear my suggestion was different from what he was already doing. I wasn’t hopeful that he was open to change.
In the following session, he apologized to me for his reaction. Since Kim feared his reaction, she had stopped asking for what she needed from Brad.
Over the next few sessions, Brad really seemed to be working on himself. He was becoming much more patient with Kim. They were talking more, enjoying each other’s company, and the out-of-control arguments were vanishing. Kim felt safer sharing more.
In our last session, they talked about their relationship never being better. They also discussed the possibility of Brad moving back home. They seemed to hit a turning point. We now needed to make sure they didn’t return to bad habits. This challenging couple demonstrated what’s possible when a couple is willing to work on themselves in newfound ways.