As a marriage counselor with a private practice in Westminster, Colorado I get a lot of calls from people looking for marriage counseling. As you can imagine, I get a lot of unique stories from people shopping around for a marriage counselor. I got one call from a woman about a year ago that I can still remember. She called and asked me if I “fix spouses”. I didn’t quite understand the question. It sort of sounded like a trap.
“What do you mean by do I fix spouses” I asked.
“I need someone to fix my husband because my marriage isn’t working and he’s not doing anything to help me feel any better in my marriage” She responded.
Still a little confused I replied. “uuhhhh, I’m sorry but I still don’t think I get what you’re asking. Are you asking me to fix your husband, only? Or do you want me to help fix your marriage?”
Now she sounded confused. There was a short delay before she answered “well, fixing my husband will fix my marriage won’t it? So I want marriage counseling to fix my husband”.
“Aaah, I think I see now. You would like marriage counseling for your husband who is the cause of your marital problems?”
“Well, I’m not sure I’ll be able to help you then.” I heard her sigh under her breath on the other line. “When I work with couples, I insist on working with both partners. I insist on this because marital problems are rarely because of just one of the partners. Both partners usually play a part and contribute to the difficulties. Even if one of the partners only contributes a fraction, they still contribute. So the couple is benefitted most when both partners come in to therapy”.