Doing Marital coaching with a couple married over 15 years, and I had a conversation in session with the husband…
His wife has a habit of being highly controlling and micromanaging. She is always trying to "fix" him. His daughter unstable and disrespectful.
He has been...
An Addict. He is now a sober addict.
Started drinking at age 11. I took him on a journey straight back into the heart of that little boy.
The loneliness as he was becoming a man without a father to guide him into manhood.
The first time he had a drink and every fear and insecurity evaporated—as he felt like superman. He felt capable. He felt undefeatable. He finds his masculinity in beer.
The moment in session where I lead him to express gratitude to alcohol instead of shame and judgement—in releasing alcohol he releases the part of himself that has been locked in a prison of self-hatred for becoming an addict.
Then sober—his new addiction—hiding.
I flip it and ask, "Picture your wife as the one who is hiding—as the one telling half truths… she is there, next to you—but her heart is far from you- how do you feel?"
"Oh man, wow.......terribly lonely, betrayed, afraid."
Gio: "Then what happens? What do you feel instinctively you want to do?"
Him: "Fix, control, micromanage."
Then I had him feel into his daughter who just turned 12, the mirror to his own 11 year old…
Gio: "How does your daughter feel around her daddy when he hides?"
Him: "Tears. Alone."
Gio: "Isn't that how you felt when you first had your first drink?"
I show him how the shame that drove him to addiction is the same shame that drives him to condemn his addiction, is the same shame he projects on his wife when he hides from her, is the same shame he projects on to his daughter (who just wants to adore her daddy and feel safe with him) when he fights with his daughter.
Wish I could record this session and teach it as a master marriage counseling class- it was packed with truth after truth of what it means to love yourself and family.
You are always loved,