When Changing a Relationship Alone

Clinical psychologists Dr. John Townsend and Dr. Henry Cloud, in their book “How To Have That Difficult Conversation You’ve Been Avoiding,” wrote a piece of good news:

“You can change the relationship alone.”

Brenda’s husband is a drug addict. She has caught and confronted him multiple times. Each time, her husband shows no remorse or, “owning” of his problem.

Yet Brenda is the motivated and concerned one. She’s feeling the pain alone, but willing to seek help for her self as well as her addicted husband.

Even before she does this, she has to deal with the bad effects of his drug addiction on her and their children, the isolation, the loneliness, the lack of a functional partner.

Drs. Townsend and Cloud further explain,

 “Things can change when the person experiencing the effects of the problem takes the initiative to resolve it.”

Brenda takes the first step.

She realizes that nothing would change unless she does something herself. Even alone.

And that takes courage on her part to press on to making those difficult conversations with her husband.

It’s a talk of truth.

How to have that continuing talk of truth that heals is Brenda’s mission with her husband. It’s a core need of the hour.

Psychotherapy teaches - and research supports the idea - that Brenda, the “lone worker,” can develop the skills and tools needed to do this well.