Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Counseling and/or book?

Saturday, September 11th, 2010

Dear Authors,
I dropped into my local library today and came across this book, whose title hit me so hard, cause it’s right where I am and its the information I need right now to equip me to move forward with my life after too many years of being unhappy in a safe, ok relationship, that I’ve outgrown and that feels like its not going anywhere that I want to be taken. I have a life to live and I have no more time to waste on an empty, albeit cordial relationship when there is so much more to life than obligation and duty… I need change, before my life blows away like a vapor! I am so glad I saw this book, the information inside has already pushed me in a positive direction in helping me to look at and face some issues that are very scary for me. I already feel less afraid and much more hopeful. Thank you for this book and I’ve only had it for like… 7 hours! What kind of counseling would you recommend for me, on-line or other thrifty counseling/coaching?
Sincerely, C.

Dear C,
We are so glad our book is helpful to you. Have you considered giving your partner the book? Do you think there is any chance of opening a real dialogue between you, although from your email it sounds as if you have tried everything you could think of, and for a long time.

We 100% support your decision to seek a coach/counselor to help you through the next leg of your journey. We do not know much about on-line counseling, nor do we necessarily think it is the best idea. We think person to person coaching/counseling is preferable. If that’s difficult, phone conversations would still be better than on-line. Only as a last resort would we recommend coaching/counseling via email. Low cost counseling can usually be arranged through local mental health centers, or through approved providers listed in your health care coverage, if it includes mental health. The best thing is to meet with two or three qualified people and choose the one you like best. We don’t know where you are located or how available these services are in your area. Dr. Birnbach could speak with you by phone, but even with a discount that might be expensive for you.

We were very much appreciated your email. It is so well written and expressive of your feelings.
Thank you for the trust you place in us.
All the best,
Dr. Lawrence Birnbach and Dr. Beverly Hyman

Dear Authors,
Hello and good morning, so very nice to hear from you.  I am considering giving the book to my spouse, he has been out of town since I started reading it and will be back tomorrow.  There is a chance of opening a real dialogue and I plan on this book being that bridge for us.  I have tried many things, but it’s possible when he sees how serious I am and that I am creating a plan for myself, that he make wake up a bit, but we will see.  I have been asking for change for years, but this book is helping me verbalize specific things that I want or need to see in order to move forward.  One of the most helpful parts of the book was reading about all the myths and realities of seperation and divorce which has given me confidence and courage to being breaking out of my shell of fear concerning the things that help to hold me there.

I hear you on the on-line counseling and I agree that person to person is best.  Thanks for the advice.  I don’t know where the conversation or my plan will lead, but just know I have to take the proverbial reins or I will get what I get.  Much gratitude toward you and your husband for writing this book, can’t believe how timely it is, but most likely it’s timely because there is a great need for it in the current culture.

Thank you for the compliments on my writing (I aspire to be a writer one day) and would be honored for you to post the email as a review without my name on your website and you have my permission.  I truly hope it encourages someone else who is hurting and looking for information to take that next step.  Again, thanks for taking your time to reply back to me, deeply grateful for your input.  Take care and will send you an email update in the future to let you know how things play out.

Sincerely,
C.

Is divorce the answer?

Saturday, September 11th, 2010

I’m busy divorcing my husband after finding out he’s been lying for 4 years about a “friendship” with another woman. He moved out a week ago. How do I know if I’m doing the right thing or should forgive him and try again? I don’t want to regret applying for divorce but I also don’t want to throw away more time with someone who doesn’t love/want me as much. Is there like a quiz or something that can help out?

Dear J,
We are sorry for what you have been going through and we sympathize with your situation. It’s hard to give you a solid response without knowing where your husband wants things to go. Has he given up the other woman or is he sincerely willing to? Does he want the marriage to continue? What else is he willing to do to make that happen? Will he go into counseling with you? You two need to talk about what has been troubling him, and you need to talk to him about what troubles you about him, in addition to the infidelity.
In our book we recommend divorce as a last resort, only after you have tried all other options including really open and honest communication and counseling with a mental health professional or clergyman. One thing you and your husband might do is take our marriage test; it’s at the end of the book. This will help you both identify the problems that have led you to this terrible time. We wish you a lot of luck.

I don’t feel special anymore

Saturday, September 11th, 2010

Even before the 25th anniversary my marriage lost intimacy and joy. We mainly talk about the adult kids and argue about dealing with our debt. I don’t feel that he feels I am special anymore. Our mutual moments of sharing happiness being together are rare. We are in our early 50?s. Is it just time to move on? L

Dear L,
You and your husband are experiencing a problem that affects many couples who have been married a long time. The demands of life can easily wear you down. Dr. Birnbach meets people in private practice frequently who are experiencing something similar to what you describe. Moving on is a last resort for when you have tried everything else with persistence to try to rejuvenate the relationship. You need a willing partner and probably would benefit from professional help. At the very least you must tell your spouse that you no longer feel special to him and that this is driving you away.

Inter-cultural marriage

Saturday, September 11th, 2010

Just wondering about your thoughts on marrying a Chinese person in China. I am Jewish, born and raised in NYC. Is it wise to go into a relationship that already has a handicap? By handicap I mean, language – communication issues and culture gaps. Also what about raising kids? Are there long term possibilities in this situation? Thanks for your insight. Z

Dear Z,
We sympathize with your concerns, they are serious and genuine. Still, if you truly love each other and talk about the difficulties extensively in advance of making any marriage plans, you can, like other motivated couples from vastly different backgrounds, work things out. There will be challenges, as in any marriage, and, perhaps more because of the differences you mention. In our book we refer to 9 areas all couples must be in agreement on. This would be a good start for your conversations. They include agreements about: money, parenting, sex, alcohol/drug substance use, relationships with extended family, religion, household responsibilities and gender roles, career, and use of leisure time.

Agreement vs Court

Saturday, September 11th, 2010

If my wife and I reach agreement – she gets the house, her retirement funds, her car, and I get the retirement money, my car, and personal things – will the courts force us to split things up 50/50?

Dear B,
This is a question for your attorney, but, as in all mediated settlements, we believe, if the court doesn’t enter the picture you may divide things as you both agree to in a written agreement.