Often a woman (or man) who wants marriage can get in her own way without knowing it. Ambivalence about marrying can cause her to stay involved with a man who won’t commit or to reject any man who will. For various reasons, she may become involved with a man or with a series of men who lack qualities essential for her happiness. After such a relationship or after a disappointing marriage, she may become stuck in bitterness and cynicism about being able to have a successful marriage. Lana’s story below shows how this can happen and how she overcame her self-defeating pattern and is now happily married.
Lana used to pine after men who weren’t interested in marriage and reject those who were. She was conflicted about marrying because she’d never recovered from the shock of her parents’ divorce when she was thirteen. Her mother complained often to her, “I gave him the best years of my life, and he left me for another woman.”
Lana eventually recognized her pattern. Still longing for marriage, she was finally ready to get therapy. Had she not made the commitment to receive professional help, Jules, a shy, kind, marriage minded man would have been beneath her radar.
She felt understood by her therapist. When she complained to him about one of Jules’ imperfections, he’d say, “There you go again.”
Lana came to realize that the things she found wrong with Jules weren’t deal breakers; they were more about her own insecurities. She feared that, like her mother, she too would be deeply disappointed if she married.
Therapy helped Lana transform her fear of failing in marriage to confidence that she would succeed. She and Jules have now been married for thirty years.
If you truly want to marry and something’s been holding you back, getting therapy can assist you to grow personally and help you create the kind relationship and life you truly want. Therapy might well be the best investment you’ll ever make.
How to Choose a Therapist
Do you view therapists as larger-than-life experts know what’s best for you? The good ones help you to discover this for yourself. If you are considering psychotherapy, think about what qualities you value in a therapist. Do you think you’ll be better helped by seeing a man or a women? Someone from a similar cultural, religious, or spiritual background to your own? Someone who believes in marriage?
Lana, in the above example, hoped to marry someone who, like her, was Jewish and wanted children. She found her therapist by collecting names of recommended professionals. She interviewed five of them on the phone and scheduled a session with two that impressed her.
Linda knew that her parents’ divorce and its aftermath resulted in her pushing away any marriage minded men. She sensed that, other things being equal, she would feel most secure with a Jewish male therapist who was still married to his original wife and had successfully raised children who were already adults; someone who, unlike her own father, hadn’t abandoned his family. She chose a well-qualified therapist whom she learned had these qualities.
You’re Worth It
If you’re interested in therapy, make sure that the therapist you’re considering is professionally qualified. Also, think about what kind of person you believe will be a good fit for you. If at all possible, don’t let money get in your way. The main thing is to find someone who meets your needs. Remember that it’s well worth it to invest in yourself.