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Gale and Jack, The Resolution

[Click here for the first part of the story]

The next week I got a phone call from Jack.  “Hey, what gives?” he asked.  “How come I can’t talk to Gale and I have to talk to you?”
“I think you know that better than I do,” I replied.
“Well, look, what’s it going to take to get you and Gale to lay off?”
“I’m not ready to answer that question, Jack, because frankly, you don’t sound very serious.”

He didn’t say anything for a moment.  I waited.

“Mr. Supancic?”
“I’m serious.  I love Gale and I want to save our marriage.”
“You have one option.  Obey those restraining orders as if your life depended on it.  Get yourself a place to live indefinitely and settle it in your mind that you’re not moving back in with Gale next week or even next month.  And start sending her the support payments we called for in that Order to Show Cause.  Are you willing to do that?”
He took a deep breath. “Yes.”
“Then there’s something else you can do.”
“What’s that?”
“You can get into a treatment program.”

Jack argued that he didn’t need a treatment program, he could go cold turkey, Gale loved him, he didn’t have anything to prove. I was straightforward with him.

“You said you wanted to save your marriage. Gale’s convinced nothing can change you or your behavior.  The only chance you have of regaining her trust is to face yourself sternly and unflinchingly.  Half measures will accomplish nothing. You’ve spent two years destroying whatever trust and admiration Gale once had for you.  The burden of proof is squarely on you and it’s a big burden.”

Six months later Gale called and asked me to have the restraining orders lifted.  I explained to her that that wasn’t necessary and it would be wiser to leave them in place.  I told her she could readmit Jack into her life without violating them, but if the experiment flopped, the orders would still be there to fall back on. But Jack had been clean and sober for six months, they were in counseling, and she was ready to have the orders lifted.

You can imagine my joy when I saw them together a year later.  They were happy, healthy, and on sound footing.  They followed through, got professional help, saved their marriage and saved themselves.

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