A colleague of Buncher Family Law, Todd Creager MSW, offers an interesting perspective about couples working on improving their relationships.
Todd’s practice focuses on marriage and sex therapy. He is also a long-time professor at USC, where he teaches (Please add)????. We had the opportunity to speak with Todd about how he helps individuals in a variety of situations related to marital issues including separation and dissolution.
Q: Can a relationship ever be repaired after a partner cheats?
A: In a word, yes. My practice is comprised of a large number of couples working on repairing a breach. We focus on reconciliation after one or both partners have strayed, and/or engaged in other behaviors that have threatened the integrity of the relationship. We spend time focusing on underlying reasons, patterns, and perceptions, and develop plans with the goal of making the relationship stronger than before. Setbacks and frustrations are common, but together, we can most often work through them.
I can say that the commonly-used phrase “once a cheater, always a cheater” is simply not true in my experience. Everyone has free will. If both parties are committed to getting the relationship back on track, and both parties are willing to see their role in doing so, marriages and other intimate relationships can be reconciled.
Q: What advice do you have for individuals going through the divorce process who are unsure about starting a new relationship?
A: My best advice is to first, get to know yourself. Do not rush into anything. Spend some time asking yourself what you have learned from your divorce, and prior relationship. I find that examining the relationship of your parents can be helpful. Examine the strengths and weaknesses of your parents’ marriage relationship (or that of other adults who raised you). If you can see areas where you may have subconsciously copied your parents’ behaviors and attitudes toward marriage and toward each other, you might have a clue into some habits you developed as a result. Regular counseling and/or introspection can help move individuals away from negative tendencies.
Also, develop an awareness of what gives you energy and what depletes your energy. Focus your attention on those things, so that when you are ready to start meeting new people, you are your most positive and energized self.
Q: Other than helping to repair broken relationships, do you specialize in other areas of counseling and therapy?
A: I also see couples who are experiencing a lack of connection and passion. I help them re-define their perspectives and views of their partner to increase communication, trust, and openness.
My practice includes work with s “Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing”, known as EMDR. This is a specialized type of psychotherapy used to treat trauma and the effects of trauma on an individual’s memory and subconscious. I have seen it work wonders for the negative effects of a wide array of traumatic incidents.
I truly love to help people. It energizes me and motivates me every single day. I am passionate about what I do, and hope this blog has given you some insights and tools that will help you in your next steps.