Friday at 4 PM is one year too late!

"Do you do marriage counseling?" a male voice asks; the desperation and fear evident in his delivery.

"Yes, I do." I respond.

“My wife just told me she wants a divorce. I think we need some marriage counseling right away. Can you see us this weekend?”

Perhaps once a month I get such a telephone call on a Friday afternoon between 3 and 6 PM.

What I want to say is the following: “Sir, you may be a year or two too late in making this telephone call. She has been thinking of this for at least a year. It’s that she is just now telling you. “

“No, she started having an affair a month ago. That is why she is leaving me.” The husband continues.

What I want him to know is what I have learned over the years:   Wives do not get up some morning and say to themselves, “Today, I think I will have sex with someone new and different.”

Instead, I say to them, “ If you did no maintenance on your vehicle, but ran it as long an no red lights come on the dash, what do you suppose it would mean for your vehicle when the red lights finally all come on at the same time?”

After a pregnant pause, the caller responds, “I guess it means I have let it go too long and now something really bad has gone wrong.”

“ Yes,” I reply, “ it may have been more than a year or more since that this has relationship has been drifting. “

“But she has not been complaining. We have not been fighting this past year. “

“That tells me when it was a year ago when she gave up on the relationship.”
“Should I make an appointment, even if she does not want to come?”

“Yes,” I suggest, “It is important that you learn some things in the process of this divorce. Otherwise, you will need to learn them in your next divorce.”

Men confuse a lack of conflict with having a peaceful relationship. Teaching men the process of doing maintenance on their relationships, just as they do on their vehicles or with their weekly business meetings is part of the divorce counseling process.

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