By Amy Bloch
Have you ever wished you had access to an expert when something wasn’t going right? Not with your car, or with your dishwasher, but with something even more important – your relationships, your job, your life.
Most of us have times in our life when something happens and we could use some guidance from someone, not just our friends whose opinions are often subjective based on their love for us, but someone who has education and experience in that area.
Take for example the 32-year-old, newly-married woman who came home to an empty toilet paper roll in the middle of her living room. She knew what it was and what it meant. She didn’t change it earlier that morning when it was empty because she was late for work and her husband had put it there to make a point.
She did not find it amusing and thought, “If he wants it changed, he should have done it himself.”
When her husband got home, he walked in, looked directly at her, then the cardboard toilet paper roll and back at her. When she didn’t say anything, he walked back out with a glancing eye roll for good measure.
Neither replaced the roll, and they both carried their own toilet paper back and forth to the bathroom for the next day, as the empty roll sat on the living room floor, until they finally had an argument that led to silence in the house for the next two days.
This was clearly the case of being newlyweds and the adjustment of learning how to live together. Had either of them had someone to get guidance from before the argument, they would have heard things such as, “Talk to each other using ‘I feel’ statements; ask your partner their expectations for living together and share yours; discuss how you are going to resolve problems together; is it more important for you to be ‘right’ or for you to have a good relationship with your partner?”
Therapy Talk will now provide you with this opportunity. Each month, our licensed therapists and I will provide you with feedback, guidance and suggestions for any questions or concerns you might have. Questions can be about things pertaining to your personal relationships, parenting, work or coping with life.
Even if we don’t use your question in the article, we will respond to all emails that we receive. The email goes directly to our clinical director, Julie Elbert, and can be written anonymously or with your name, but we will NEVER use your name in the article or use any identifying information.
If you are struggling with an issue, chances are there are many others who are, too. They will also learn from the information.
I know my husband and I would have benefited from that advice when the dreaded toilet paper roll sat in our living room for those two days, 13 years ago.
Amy Bloch is executive director of Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Sioux City. Please send all questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.