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Joanne talked to me because she was deeply unhappy in her marriage. She felt she'd done everything she could to make things better, but she was tired of doing all the work. She and Ben had been married nearly 30 years and had two college-aged children, so it was not a decision to be made lightly. She was also afraid of ending up alone and lonely, a "pathetic, 50-something desperate-for-love divorcee." Was it better to stay put, as unhappy as she was, just for the security? Was she brave enough to risk dull stability for a chance at happiness?

According to Joanne, she'd carried Ben emotionally through a long and serious illness of their child; she supported him through a long depression. She moving closer and closer to leaving. "I have one foot out the door" she told me.

Although it wasn't an issue for which she consulted me, I knew she also had trouble with her foot. She'd had several surgeries and the nerve damage was extensive. Sometimes the pain was so excrutiating she couldn't bear to have anything touch it, not even a bedsheet. She had to be on her feet all day at work, and flair ups often left her in tears.

But as she told me the story of her dissolving marriage, I noticed the words she used. "Carried him emotionally," supported him" and "one foot out the door. I pointed out that her foot problem might be exacerbated by where she perceives her troubles are borne. The WEIGHT of him; the foot out the door (which means the other foot is still IN the door.) She'd never noticed that before, but as soon as I pointed it out, she immediately understood and agreed that this made perfect sense.

Once she realized how the pain of her marriage was manifesting itself in her body, the changes she needed to make become obvious.

 



© 2012 Adrienne Gusoff

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