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Marriage Counseling For Professional Athletes

Posted by: Dr. Granat on January 24, 2016

There is some research to indicate the professional athletes divorce at a higher rate than does the rest of the population.
Some sociologists and psychologists attribute this divorcing behavior to fame, fortune, travel, being away from home, adoration by fans and groupies and significant amount of temptation.
Like the rest of the married population, drug abuse and alcohol abuse can contribute to the demise of a marriage.
Other therapists and social scientists believe that some pro athletes have not matured where intimate relationships are concerned because they have spent so much time and energy in mastering their athletic skills and their craft.
Over the years, I have counseled a number of professional athletes about parenting issues, career issues, emotional issues and relationships issues.

The Case Of Two Professional Athletes

Several years ago, a young woman who played professional basketball came to see me about her son and about her conflicted relationship with her husband.
Her husband was also a professional athlete.
They were already separated from one another, but they could not finalized the divorce because they were both looking upon the divorce process as competitive contest of some kind.
In short, both members of this marital dyad were insistent on being right, on getting their way and on beating up their spouse.
They both had a sense of entitlement and they both had very little understanding of divorce and how the legal system works.
To make matters worse, they both had retained lawyers who seemed to be prolonging the battle.
After meeting with both of them, I helped them to shift their focus to being happy, peaceful, content and healthy.
Fortunately, they listened to me and I sent them to a new lawyer who agreed to act as a consultant in the case.
This attorney was able to get all the parties to stop the competing and to focus on ending the fight, saving money, looking after their kids and getting on with their lives.
Their case was resolved and they are no longer adversaries and are working as teammates to parent their children.
I might add that during the course of treatment, I encouraged them to try to view each other as teammates. I suggested that they don’t have to love each other, but they need to get on what I call a compatible page where the children are concerned.
This couple quieted their competitive sides, listened to reasonable advice and they seem to be living happily ever after at this point in time.

Jay P. Granat, Ph.D. is a psychotherapist, licensed marriage and family therapist, author and the founder of and
He can be reached at and at 888-580-ZONE.

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