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Married to Trump

Applying a therapeutic paradigm: If you’re in it for the long haul, how are you going to make this work?
A woman holds an American flag as she watches the voting results at Democratic presidential nominee former Hillary Clinton's election night event at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York City on November 9, 2016. (Win McNamee/Getty Images/AFP)
A woman holds an American flag as she watches the voting results at Democratic presidential nominee former Hillary Clinton's election night event at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York City on November 9, 2016. (Win McNamee/Getty Images/AFP)

Half of American voters are feeling heartbroken and afraid about what’s going on in a relationship that they are deeply committed to:  their relationship with their country.

I have triple citizenship and that’s always a good thing. Except when it comes to taxes.

But here’s the thing: half of American voters are deeply dissatisfied with government-as-usual. That’s important.

I’m a therapist and I work with many people who are hurting within their marriages. I’ve been writing about this lately. So unsurprisingly, these are the thoughts that are coming up for me this morning when I see half the American people happy with their choice and half feeling horrified, in pain and concerned for the future of the institutions that they deeply care about.

What can we do when we are deeply committed and deeply distressed? In marriage we can start by thinking about what we want and what we’re not willing to live with. Then we can think about how our own behaviour is contributing to what we don’t want. In changing our own behaviour we’ll change ourselves. That will either lead to change in the relationship or clarity about the nature of the relationship and perhaps a reassessment of one’s commitment.

Despite many recent Facebook comments, I don’t see many Americans moving to either of my other two countries.

If you’re not going to leave, if you are still committed to your country, the question then becomes: what do I need to do differently to express myself in this relationship, to build the kind of country that I want? How can I empower myself to effectively create the kind of country I deeply wish for?

About the Author
Margo Helman, MSW, clinical social worker and therapist. margohelman.wordpress.com Margo works with individuals, couples and families, adults and children, coping with depression, anxiety, relationship and developmental issues. She works in private practice and is clinical director of Gisha Lachaim (Tishkofet), a non profit that works to increase the focus on quality of life when living with or treating serious illness and loss. Formerly a midwife, Margo likes to remember that pain can sometimes be a precursor to joy.
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