Family Counseling – Among my three siblings, I grew up the closest to my second sister, Liv.
That’s probably because our big brother was too far in age (ten years older) for me to share a common interest with him, while our younger sister and I only had a one-year age difference, so we were constantly crashing.
Below we will be talking more about my family and how family counseling helped us resolve our conflicts.
Family Therapy For Family
After passing her licensure exam, Liv made the biggest decision: she joined the army. Granted, she would be there to tend to the wounded soldiers and assist the doctors, but it alarmed the entire family. That feeling intensified when we found out that she would be deployed to Iraq. There was an ongoing war at the time, and that’s where she was heading.
Throughout Liv’s service, I was in college, studying to become a programmer. Our family conversations became much less than before since it’s difficult for her to find a signal overseas, but whenever our family could talk, it was as if we were not on different continents. At that time, the family drifted further apart, and now that I think about it, perhaps counseling for our family would earlier have made things easier.
Learning About The Unexpected
When Family COUNSELING or therapy is needed
Then, one day, I was surprised to see a missed call from Liv. She had just been deployed for the sixth time in five years, and it was not in her nature to get homesick easily. Still, I decided to call her back.
“Hello, Liv. Did you call me?” I asked when my sister picked up the phone.
“Yes, John. I am not in Iraq right now. I am actually in Vegas, about to get married to Link, my boyfriend in the army. We’re pregnant!” Liv announced excitedly.
Her announcement and the fast way she delivered it made my head spin. For one, no one in the family knew that Liv had a boyfriend. Whenever we asked about her love life, she often said that she would only find love once she achieved her tenth deployment. And now, she told me she’s about to get married – and I was a soon-to-be-uncle?
By now, I was already thinking that family counseling would do us some good. Perhaps family counseling would help the family better understand and accept each other.
Then, Things Became Far From Fine Pretty Soon
The first year of Liv’s marriage passed blissfully. She had her baby girl six months after her big revelation, and then her husband got deployed right after that. Everything seemed to be going well for her until her husband was dismissed in the army to use illegal drugs with three other soldiers.
It was awful news for many reasons. Liv was counting on her husband getting a pension at least once he retired. However, since he got discharged dishonorably, they could most likely kiss that pension goodbye. I urged her to go to family counseling to maybe help resolve their conflicts or at least encourage her husband to try family counseling. She didn’t consider any family counseling m whatsoever. “How would family counseling help me? Can family counseling definitely help my husband with his drug problem?”
Who did my sister ask for help? That’s me. Of course, I could not say no to Liv, so I sponsored her husband’s rehab and shared money for some of their house bills. I didn’t let our parents know about it.
Benefits of family therapy
Family counseling for me
But I had to get family counseling even for myself when another year passed, and Liv and her family continued to rely on me. At that point, her husband was already sober, though he refused to find a job. The same went for Liv, who could have applied at any hospital nearby. I would say that family counseling alleviated my stress significantly. Family counseling helped me move forward despite the challenges.
Family counseling advice
The family counseling expert encouraged me to try detaching myself from Liv, especially since it was evident that she wanted me to support this family member forever. The family counseling professional said, “There is never an easy way to do that, unfortunately. Your sister is a family member and will get upset with you. However, you should be okay with that if it means it will force her to practice self-accountability.” The counselor also told me to convince my sister to go into family therapy or counseling.
Solutions with Family Counseling
I followed the family counseling advice and told my sister that I would stop giving her monetary allowance. As expected, she got mad at me and even tattled to our parents that I was awful. Hearing about it hurt me, but I stood my ground and kept my head down.
After some time, Liv reached out to me and apologized for her behavior. I was glad to know that she and her husband started working again, and they finally got their family in order. Our familial bond only became stronger than ever once we moved past our previous family issues.