Guest Blog by Richard “Rick” Landon, D. Min.
I spend a lot of time in the counseling room with couples whose youngest child is about to leave or has left home. The issue with most of these couples is that there has been some type of an affair, emotional and/or physical. Most of these affairs have been with a colleague at work, a friend, a church member, etc. These affairs almost always begin with trying to help the other during a difficult time. They’ve attempted to help but didn’t recognize appropriate boundaries. The couples in my counseling room seem to spend a lot of time trying to figure out the past which involves finding a “cause” or blaming the other, a circumstance, etc. They have a difficult time focusing on the future. They’ve worked well together raising their children, establishing a comfortable home and life-style, supported each other in their education and career development. However, it is as if their “job” is now finished. They are partners, but without a common task. Those common tasks are the building blocks of intimacy along with communication, conflict resolution skills, financial responsibility, mutual accountability, affirmation, affection, etc. Whatever hope may be, surely it involves having a future story. The couples I see in the counseling room usually have no significant future story. Maintenance of the status quo may be important, but it isn’t a significant future story.
Richard “Rick” Landon, D. Min., is the Director of the Interfaith Counseling Center in Lexington, KY. He is a licensed marriage and family therapist, pastoral counseling educator and spiritual director. He and his wife are Member Care Counselors with the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship working with mission families in Europe. He is an Adjunct Professor at the Baptist Seminary of Kentucky and the Lexington Theological Seminary. His educational background includes a doctoral degree in Pastoral Counseling, master’s degrees in Education Psychology and Divinity, and a bachelor degree in Psychology. Connect with Rick here.