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The Road Less Traveled

I love it when couples come to therapy. They usually arrive highly agitated and wanting to unload all their grievances against each other that have been piling up over the years they have spent together. When there is passion in the room it can often be difficult for a new therapist or someone not used to the high level of negative energy. It can feel like standing in the ocean and getting knocked over by a wave you didn't see coming. On the other hand, I love to see the passion, the energy, and their commitment to success or failure which is usually expressed during those first moments. Some people want to fight for the saving of their marriage and some want to fight to end it. They both will continue to chose the road they will travel; either together or apart.

It is very sad to watch the end of a marriage. Both people are grieving the loss of their dreams. They grieve the past, the present, and any hope for a future together. Unfortunately, in their effort to escape the challenges of their present relationship they do not plan for a better relationship in the future. They only want the pain to stop today. So they give their reasons why they want the divorce, make a few half-hearted attempts to find a connection, and because they never really were committed to the process, they quit their marriage and walk out of therapy saying, "It doesn't work."

On the other hand, I truly love when two people come into session fired up but wanting to save their relationship. They are aware of what they have invested and are not ready to call it quits because they have hit a sticking point that they cannot resolve. I have seen couples recover from affairs, addictions, and abuse to find healthy, happy connections they never previously experienced.

Robert Frost, wrote a poem called, "The Road Not Taken" and I think this speaks truth to the road you choose;

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood and sorry I could not travel both.

And be one traveler, long I stood.

And looked down one as far as I could

to where it bent in the undergrowth.

Then took the other, as just as fair and having perhaps the better claim.

Because it was grassy and wanted wear

Though as for the passing there.

Had worn them really about the same.

And both that morning equally lay in leaves no step had trodden black

Oh, I kept the first for another day!

Yet knowing how way leads on to way,

I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh somewhere ages and ages hence

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I-

I took the one less traveled by and that has made all the difference.

Robert Frost

We all need help now and again and not asking for help has resulted in people just leaving relationships only to repeat the mistakes again with a new person. This repeat offender type of relationship-hopping results in more and more people being wounded instead of being successful. It is not easy, but it is possible. You just have to make the decision which road you want to take.


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