Helpful Links

Psychology Today
A locator tool to help you find a therapist for your area. It also will lists different area's of focus like depression, eating disorders etc.

Online Business to Business Yellow Pages
Like the above site it has a locator by area code and has several thousand different counselors and therapists in their directory.

American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy
A large network to search from to find someone in an area near you.

Network Therapy
A locator and gives bio's on some of the peole listed in the directory.

My own advice
Like any professional service, therapists and counselors are here to help you. Interview a couple of different ones if you can. Ask friends and families for personal recommendations. The most important thing is that you feel comfortable working with the person you choose. If you don't then look/ask around for someone else.


Before I get into the specifics of my experience with Therapy, let me first say that I was adamantly against ever going. In my mind, buried deep into my subconscious, I had always known that I should go to a therapist to talk about some of my issues and insecurities stemming from my childhood. I never did for several reasons: 1.) I did not want to go to that scary place and address issues that had been bothering me for 20 years. 2.) I fell victim to what society "says" about seeing a therapist. I listened to some of the stigma's attached to going to see a "shrink" things like "oh you must be crazy if you are going to a therapist", or "what's wrong with you", or "why do you need to go, is everything ok", "why do you need a shrink", "are you depressed", these among many others are just some examples of phrases I have heard associated with seeing a professional therapist. Let me just say, that in my opinion, all of those stigmas like the ones I showed above are complete crap. Going to therapy has been a wonderful, fulfilling experience for me. I wish I would have done it years ago, and probably would have had I not been so insecure with myself and cared so much about what other people think.

Monday July 2nd, I had to go to work. I was shaking so bad, I had not slept, I had hardly ate and I missed Mary. I started sifting through the yellow pages calling different therapists in town. I remember some of my messages I left – I was sobbing so uncontrollably that I can't even imagine what the people who heard the messages thought. I was able to actually go and spend some time with my client, who is a professional psychologist, later on that day. I talked with her for several hours that Monday and again on Friday, she referred me to her brother who is a practicing relationship and family therapist here in town.

When I started with Dr. B the following week, I was not doing well. I still had not slept, I did not know who I was or what was going on and I was horribly depressed. I really wanted to die rather than continue living feeling the pain in my heart I was feeling. We initially started with me coming to see him for twice a week, one hour at a time. The sessions at first were talking about my insecurities I had stemming from childhood. Dr. B was able to uncover a lot of whys and how's about me and the way I acted that I did not even realize before. We dove deep into my issues of why I could not open up to Mary and what would cause me to sometimes hold back when talking about the future. We discovered that much of it stemmed from the atmosphere I was raised in. My parents did not like each other and both would repeatedly tell me they only stayed together because of my brother and I. Also the issue of money and the lack of it was talked about everyday. I used to cry myself to sleep as a little kid as I felt like I had caused all of my parent's problems due to them not having any money because they had to take care of me. I felt so bad that I can remember times when I was as young as eight years old and I would run to the woods behind our house and cry and pray that God would take my life or give me the strength to do it. In my young eight-year-old mind, I thought that if I were gone, it would substantially ease my parent's financial problems, and make their life happier.

I heard about our financial problems everyday. My mom (I do not blame her for anything, she did the best she could, she also had a very hard time growing up) used to have me ask my dad for money so we could buy food. My mom would always tell me never to get married or start a family until I could financial afford it so I would never have to put my family through the burden that we had to go through. Ultimately that should be my choice to make, but hearing that phrase over and over again from the time you are five years old really starts to make an impression in the developing psyche of a child. When you are young, your brain is like a sponge ready to soak up any information it can get, be it correct or incorrect info. The only way we have to distinguish between what is right and wrong is what we are taught from our parents and peers. If you teach a young child that the color blue is really red, the child will grow up thinking that the blue sky is really a red sky because that is what the child has been taught. I tried to use this analogy a couple times with Mary explaining why I would act a certain why. I told her that I felt like the sky was red. She never really fully understood what I was trying to tell her, but I don't blame her, I did not fully understand myself so I really could not expect her to, even though I wished she would have.

My mom also would tell me to make sure I had enough money to provide my wife and family with a nice place to live before I got married or started a family. Our house I grew up in was a dump. It was broken down, full of mold, and my mom voiced how much she hated it. I was made to feel ashamed of it, so much so that most of my friends all throughout my childhood and high school never saw where I lived, as I was ashamed to have them come over. One time when I went to visit my family I took pictures and a video of where I grew up so I could show Mary. When I came home, I never showed her, as I was too ashamed for her to see where I came from. I thought that if I showed her she might leave me. Many of these thoughts and feelings are the reasons behind us never moving into together. I was just scared because us moving in would defy everything I had been taught. I wanted to live with Mary, I wanted to marry her, and I wanted to love her for eternity, but I just did not know how to break away from my past, or even open up and explain to her my insecurities.

My childhood is not as bad on paper as many kids. I was fortunate enough that while my parents showed no affection towards each other they both loved me in their own way. I was not ever physically harmed like many kids are, and I was never intentionally made to felt unwanted or neglected. My mom was very open in showing her love. My dad was not. I never saw my father show any affection towards my mom or anyone else. Mary complained sometimes that I would not be affectionate enough towards her. I would always try to improve and I would tell her that it was not intentional that in my mind I thought I was being. Again, the sky was red. We learn largely from our parents, my father, who was my dominate male figure in my life and the one I would expect to learn most of my "male things" from did not show my mom affection. I took this into my relationship with Mary. Even though I loved her more than anything, I know sometimes I would pull away simply because I did not know any better. Would I be more affectionate today? Absolutely, this is another thing that therapy has made me aware of, and also made me more comfortable in my own skin in expressing affection outwards. I often would not in public because I did not want others to view me as a sissy, or as being "whipped." Again this largely stems from my upbringing, my father showed no affection so I essentially learned not to show affection for a female companion. I also cared too much about what other people thought, rather than what I wanted. I really did try though, and I was affectionate with her, just not as much as she wanted me to be.

The most important thing I have taken away from therapy and my sessions with Dr. B is that it is ok to feel. That the way I feel, the way you feel, they are all emotions that each one of us experiences at some point in our lives, essentially we are not alone in feeling how we feel. I felt like I was the only one that felt the way I did and because of that I was ashamed. I was so ashamed that I never sought out the help of someone to help me understand the feelings I felt. Me being able to write this and share it with you all is a testament to the work and self-growth I have done in the last five months. Therapy has really helped free me from the shackles of my past that would weigh me down and inhibit me from living and being the person I want to be. I never wanted to be ashamed of myself, who I am and where I came from, but I was. Now, for the first time in my life I can be me, with no fear of what others think. There are many of you who will read this and think I am over exaggerating the impact that my young life had on my development into my adult life, that is your opinion and I respect it, but I do not hold back in my writing or my actions to try and cater to your opinions like I would in the past. There are many of you who will read this and be grateful for my candor and openness and will hopefully be inspired to do the work on yourself that you have always wanted to. It is for each and every one of you I write this for, in hopes that you can and will be inspired.

I am convinced that every single one of us carries some sort of baggage and insecurity within ourselves. I also believe very strongly (this is my opinion) that one of the reasons for the extremely high divorce rate in our country is due to us entering into relationships weighed down by these insecurities. Currently in the USA, some of the sources I have seen have listed the divorce rate around 50% for first time marriages, the mid 60% for 2nd marriages, and for people who get married a third time – approximately 73% of those marriages end in divorce. These statistics just represent the number of people who actually file for divorce. They do not cover people like my parents who now live apart from each other and are still legally married. If we were to factor in couples like that, and couples that no longer are together, but stay legally married for tax breaks, who knows how high the divorce rate really would be. It could be as high as 60-70% for first time marriages. The reason I mention this here is because I believe that one of the direct causes for this epidemic is people entering into these relationships with insecurities. This is why I am pleading with everyone to spend at least sometime in your life with a licensed therapist/counselor. Many health insurance programs will even pay all or a percentage to have "x" number of mental health visits per year. I firmly believe in my heart that if Mary and I had entered into our relationship void of insecurities and baggage from our earlier life, we would still be together today.

I had a friend ask me about a month ago, "Michael, do you believe that someone who is totally secure with themselves and void of baggage could be in an unhappy relationship?" I thought for a while and told her no that I do not believe it could happen. I believe that the person who is "free" of all the excess baggage would enter into a relationship only of their choosing and not one out of necessity or because they felt like they had to be a couple to fit into different social circles. I also think that this person, if they were in a relationship with someone who had their own insecurities, that they would be a strong enough guide to encourage the other person to work through "their stuff." And if the other person would not, then that "free" person would be able to move on, as they were secure and happy enough with themselves, and confident that they could find a person who is meant to be in their life.

I am not saying that two people with insecurities and baggage cannot enter into and have a happy fulfilling marriage. I am just saying that based on the above statistical information, it seems like it is harder and harder to keep marriages together. I believe it is completely possible for people to have a happy marriage if their insecurities and baggage do not conflict with the other persons. Again using me as an example, unfortunately many of my insecurities and baggage conflicted with Mary's. I did not really even recognize it at the time as I was so blindly in love with her. We would have a fight and I would be mad for a while, but I would not hold a grudge against her for something she said or did. I felt that the love I had for her was so strong and so powerful that nothing could tear us apart. Unfortunately I could not always show her those feelings.

Therapy is a great tool for anyone to utilize at any stage of your life. Couples, singles, families, I really truly believe that everyone can benefit from it. I give a lot of credit to my own self-growth to the work I have done in therapy. I have a very good friend of mine who has been married over 30 years! He told me in the midst of Mary leaving me that loving his wife has been the greatest thing, but it has taken work. Over the course of their marriage they have had to go to several marriage counselors to resolve issues that were otherwise un-resolve-able based on their own abilities to communicate. But because they were willing to do the work, together, each experience with a counselor only made them grow closer together. I think this is one of the best supporting arguments I have heard for the benefits of going to a counselor/therapist. If you would like any more info about my experiences or help locating a therapist, please email me at:

Heartbreak Tools

  • My Great Love Story

    I had two options when telling our story. Option 1. I could have made it mushy and...
  • My Story of a Broken Heart

    Friday June 29th 4pm was when everything went wrong. As I said before that is the conversation that Mary...
  • Testimonials

    I found your site through myspace the other day. I have been hurting really bad for the past couple of moths since...
  • Questions & Answers

    This section is broken up into two parts: Questions that pertain to being in love, and questions that...
  • Love

    To celebrate love, we need words. This page will act as a collection of great quotes, poems, statements, etc.. that...
  • Stories of Heartbreak

    This Page is for you all to share your own stories of heartbreak. Whether you were with someone for 3 weeks or 3...
  • Your Great Love Stories

    This Page is for all of you to share your own great love stories. Whether it is a summary of being with someone for...
  • Books That Can Help

    Here on this page you will find a list of books and other literature sources that can provide guidance when going...
  • Therapy/Counselling

    Helpful Links: click here to go to Psychology Today, which has a locator tool to help you find a therapist for your...