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What To Do When… There is Still Hope.

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Special Guest – William Faith |

WTDW Podcast | Episode 60: What To Do When… There’s Still Hope.

What To Do When… Intro 00:01
Welcome to What To Do When… A podcast from real lawyers with real perspective, where we explore a variety of legal issues and scenarios. Each week we focus on a new topic and discuss what to do when and if any of these legal scenarios ever happened to you or a loved one. With over 40 years of combined legal experience, our hosts offer their unique perspectives and insights on a range of real life legal situations.

Jackie Critzer 0:29

Hi, welcome back to another podcast here. Critzer Cardani in Richmond, Virginia. I’m Jackie.

Scott Cardani 0:34

I’m Scott and Jackie, we’re here. What’s on the docket for today?

Jackie Critzer 0:40
What To Do When… There’s Still Hope.

Scott Cardani 0:43
Okay, well, I want to introduce a special friend we have today, Mr. William faith. And he’s a well, he’s got a lot of degrees. I don’t know about that. He’s got more degrees than a thermometer. So I’m gonna let him introduce himself a little bit. Bill, thank you for being here today. We would consider you an expert in the field of counseling. So what is your background? What have you done? Quick, short, where do you go to school?

William Faith 1:11
Well, a couple of graduate degrees, but the last ones from Ohio State and clinical social work.

Scott Cardani 1:16

William Faith 1:19
Beyond my training that OSU I have, I’m a clinical fellow in the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy, which is equivalent to a national license. I’m a board certified diplomamate, which is a top credential and clinical social work. myself and one other person found out that I trained in psychoanalysis and analytic Institute, the alcohol abuse, eating disorders, and for a while I was a part time Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, University of Cincinnati.

Scott Cardani 1:50
Right. And I just want to ask one follow up question. So people understand. So a normal counselor in town would have how many hours of training?

William Faith 1:59
Initially to get licensed? It’s about 3000 hours.

Scott Cardani 2:03
Okay, so that’s the floor. Where are you at onthat floor?

William Faith 2:06
Will when I got board certified, I was probably 6000 hours in today, probably 70,000 hours. Okay, I’ve been doing it for 42 years.

Scott Cardani 2:16
Only 42?

William Faith 2:16

Scott Cardani 2:18
I thought you were like, 55. Yeah. Anyways, we’re gonna move on. So today, what we want to talk about is when they’re still light, and what do we mean by that, Jackie?

Jackie Critzer 2:30
Well, sometimes we meet with clients who have come in, or they’ve called for a consultation on divorce. And they… well we like to say, aren’t ready to take their last breath in the marriage. And sometimes that looks like several phone calls that lead to a consultation, sometimes it’s a consultation, and then a couple hours over several months, I want to talk to you again, I just kind of come talk to you again. And we sort of become a therapist instead of a counselor at law. But one of our esteemed colleagues, Sandy Bowen, here in the Richmond area used to say exactly that. If you’re not ready to take your last breath, you’re not ready to meet with me yet. Go and do the work and figure out whether you can save this marriage. So really, I’d like to ask you. Of course, marriages can be redeemed. But when people come to you, and maybe one of the spouses has already seen an attorney, what are you seeing as far as?

William Faith 3:22
I tell folks, I have five criterion for saving the marriage. First, is anybody mentally ill? If they are, are they getting help? Secondly, is anybody into the addictions? If they are they’re willing to stop? Is anybody having an affair? That becomes a problem if they’re not willing to stop. Have they ever loved each other? And do they want to save it? So nobody’s mentally ill? Nobody’s into addictions. Nobody’s having an affair. They have loved each other and want to save it. We can do this. It’s so simple.

Jackie Critzer 3:55
How often do you get… that nobody is any of those things?

William Faith 4:01
A lot, actually.

Jackie Critzer 4:02
Do you?

William Faith 4:03
Yeah, because this society does not value marriage, you get in trouble don’t like somebody fight once in a while. I haven’t had sex and five or six months, it must be all over. They people live in the illusion we have to have that glow all the time. Marriage is sometimes hard work.

Scott Cardani 4:21
Wait a minute… I can’t take this. I mean, I got to work as a husband.

William Faith 4:26
To you know, but it’s a decision. People take vows which they quickly forget in front of the older families way back when but avail means you’re in for good. You sign up for the army. You get tired of it. They don’t let you out because you can’t just walk away. This society does not value marriage. And families don’t merit value marriage. The inlaws don’t go get divorced. And nobody thinks about the consequences. What happens when you do? What happens to the kids? your finances? Sometimes I tell people you You’re gonna split everything in half, and lawyers will appoint can at least 10% of that maybe 20. And the law doesn’t respect anything. It’s thrown over the hill, you’ll pay a huge price. It’s cheaper to save it..

Jackie Critzer 5:16
And so when you do see mental illness or addiction, or someone’s having an affair, recognizing that at one time, they did love each other, and maybe they want to save it. Really the work is whether they’re going to stop the affair, get help with the addiction, or get help with their mental issues.

William Faith 5:33
Well sometimes people get into affairs, it’s too late. Because they’re already there that I asked three questions. Where are you here? Is there been a crisis I somebody died a DUI, somebody cheated and you want to get past it? Okay, Crisis. The second one is do you want to let each other down easy? Or is this really over… and you’re just here to help me fix it, maybe try to salvage the family? The third is, if I had magic, do you want to save it? And most people say yes. The joke that follows. If I’ve got magic, and it’s fixed a year from now, I get the 10 grand you would have spent on two lawyers. I don’t mean that. But I think… I also tell people, and it really irritates me people who say they do marriage counseling of the two graduates, 2 courses in graduate school. Maybe they’d seen 100 People. Follow me? I tell people, sometimes I’m the only one fighting to save the marriage. I’m here, because I believe in marriage, and your kids need me to save that. Your kids need me to help you save this. And when you make the changes you need to make and there’s a lot of changes you’ll need to make, you’ll be better. The number of stories I’ve worked with people that come in, one woman came in one day, who got my name, knowing my reputation. I work to fix marriages. And she said, I know your reputation. And I’m here to end it.

Jackie Critzer 6:59

William Faith 7:00
And she said, no matter what you do, I’m here to end it. And I started asking her questions, it became clear to me that her husband had an addiction, a work addiction. And I said, Well, let’s bring him in. And well she of course, she told them that, you know, he thinks you’re an addict, you blah, blah, blah. He was mad as a snake at me okay. But we started doing some work, you know, listening to each other talking about their problems, but the third or fourth session, she sat across the room and she cursed at me – for real. You.. GD MFer. You tricked me. She said. I said what she said You tricked me. What’s happened? She said I loved the sob and now I’m stuck. Is that a problem that you actually love the guy and he’s changing and it’s gonna get better. She’s that didn’t come for that. I said, Well, too bad. I’m so sorry.

Jackie Critzer 7:54
No refunds.

William Faith 7:55
But it bothers me that people what I know of people who do marriage counseling, they’re they’re not biased to save it. You know it? Well, you don’t like each other so much. You know, these women Forgive me therapists who are roughly 50 years old who are doing therapy for women in transition. You follow me? and and who say, Well, you’re unhappy, you need to trade them in blah, blah, blah, you’re unhappy to fix it. Now. There are four times marriages get in trouble. The first is a never should have gotten married. Right? First two years, it was bogus. In Las Vegas whenever it was. The second time is statistically the seventh year when people who love each other, clearly love each other cannot problem solve their fussing over money or sex or in laws or Christmas or whatever it is.

Jackie Critzer 8:50
The seven year itch. It’s real.

William Faith 8:51
It’s statistically real. Right? Now, it could be four could be not, but it’s in that range. When young people who would do it did in fact love each other are stuck. And nobody taught him what to do. I mean, they can’t problem solve. So they fight and they say names to each other, etc, etc. If they if they’re not going to end it for various reasons, money or kids, they put it under the carpet, and it rots. And it shows up when the last kids leaving home or age 50 or menopause when you don’t have to do this anymore. Well, so and then, hopefully they come to me at that time. But if they don’t fix it there, then it rots and it shows up in retirement unless you’re multimillionaires, you’re really stuck. But I help people see that you can fix along what you do love each other you lease you did love each other. And there’s reasons why you’re going to save it because it’s costly or the legal systems a mess everything up in your whole life. Forgive me if I think that’s true.

Jackie Critzer 9:51
It’s absolutely true.

William Faith 9:53
And the things that judges decide are appalling to me, forgive me, but you know that anyway… The courts do not value marriage. It seems to me it’s a system designed for therapists to make money for just make money, lawyers make money and end to destroyed families. But if you follow the pattern, you follow me, people can fix this.

Scott Cardani 10:16
And I think, to be fair, courts are there to end it.

Jackie Critzer 10:22
They’re in the business of divorce.

Scott Cardani 10:24
They’re in the business of divorce. And lawyers are too. And sadly, it is a business. Right? It has become for family lawyers. It is a business model. But Scott, and I hear like, that’s why we’re, that’s why you’re here, we don’t run our business that way. We do want to offer people the opportunity to go get help and to save their marriage, because we believe marriages can be saved if the people do the work. But we’re not in the counseling business. Hahahaha – So we need resources to help people because I think it’s lacking.

William Faith 10:52
If you are saying there, that come back too frequently.. for being critical. Too few folks are trained in doing Marriage and Family Therapy. When when I say that I am the family therapist, and I’m seeing one person. And the people said that’s not possible. Had a guardian ad litem almost take me to the board because I was going to do that. Because they don’t know how to think systemically. The issue is how do you save, how do you fix and deal with the overall problems of relationships? Sometimes you see everybody, sometimes you see a couple sometimes up, whatever. But a marriage counselor is trained to think systemically. It’s not individual therapy, times the number of people in the room. It’s thinking about how to change what’s going on. How to problem solve. How to reinforce relationships. And that took three more years after graduate school specifically learn to do that. 200 hours, 200 hours of therapy, the training that I had to get from an expert approved by them to even get there. Well, I mean, that’s an that’s different from licensing and all that kind of stuff. You know, so to say, I’m a clinical fellow in the American Association, marriage and family therapy, they’re the national credential. The clinical fellow is the top membership there, which means that I’m qualified actually teach other people how to do this. But people aren’t trained how to do this, you know, I trained, they sit around and they do a lot of listen to you, you listen to me, but they’re not… there’s no research behind that backing up what they’re doing. People just learned to talk better. And in six months, we know that nothing changes in they’re all still in trouble.

Jackie Critzer 12:34
Now, what do you say to someone, whether it’s a either spouse that comes to you and says, I can’t get my husband or wife to come? See you? I can’t they they’re just not gonna engage in the therapeutic process. And I think they’re the ones with the problem.

William Faith 12:49
That’s a great question. And that happens regularly. And for the sake of discussion, let’s see, that’s true.

Jackie Critzer 12:56

William Faith 12:58
Then vicariously I can use that word, I work with a person, how do you the point person coming to me can be different in reference to your spouse, and show them that you’re listening better or responding better and doing things different? And hopefully, that person will wake up because the person is seeing me and nobody’s innocent.

Scott Cardani 13:18
Wait a minute. hahahaha

William Faith 13:22
To work with a person who came to me like, for instance, their spouse has an addiction issue. Okay, start going to Al Anon, historically, approaching her husband desperately say something differently. Strategies to influence their spouse to recognize things can be different. And they it is worth saving in the kids matter.. are you following me? But you it’s harder with one person, but it’s possible.

Scott Cardani 13:49
And that’s what I was gonna follow up with what I see a lot in practice in my nearly 25 years. I mean, seriously – compared to what you have it’s a chip, and I realized that. But what I see a lot of is two things. One is where I see a counselor engage, say with Jackie, they take everything Jackie says is absolute fact. And counsel from that perspective, and like you were saying, there’s no systemic whole, realizing that Jackie may be the problem, or not the problem, or at least half the problem or a quarter of the problem, or some part of the problem. And I feel like that always dead ends into the same place. They just spent whatever on a counselor for three years. But we’re still back at my table. Because we didn’t look at it systematically… we didn’t look at the whole thing. We didn’t look at what Jack how and I think you sort of answered that. But I just see that as a continual problem. I feel like no matter what, what we’re in, it seems like the first time it gets the counselor first. That’s the truth we’re working with. And that, to me is not effective. But I could be wrong.

William Faith 14:52
You making another point? All kinds of biases I have forgive me, but I tried to tell folks in the beginning that I work hard to be neutral. I’m not here to take anybody’s side. And unfortunately, I’ve experienced, I’ve worked in three different states. People who bring great… Therapists who bring great biases, and the other person knows it. Forgive me more often than not, guys feel picked on in that office. And it’s not fair. And they’re not going to stay. I don’t want to be anybody’s advocate, I’m the kids advocate. I’m not husband or wife’s. I’m fighting for your blessed kids. And if you don’t have kids, I’m fighting for your retirement accounts. Follow me? This is stupid to go throwing this over the hill just because you don’t like each other today.

Scott Cardani 15:44
I agree.

William Faith 15:46
The other thing I bring is, I tell people I’m blunt. I’m a northerner, even though I grew up partly in St. Petersburg, Florida. And as a northerner, I’m gonna tell you what, I think I’m going to be plainspoken. This is what I think. And this is the mistake you’re making. If you don’t like it, the doors not locked to get out of here. But I’m trying to fix and save your marriage and you got a problem. Stop doing that. You know… Periodically people tell me what do you know if a 29 year old letter saying his second marriage, her third?

Jackie Critzer 16:20

William Faith 16:21
And he’s sitting in my office irritated by the way from you VCU with a 2.00001 GPA. He sits and tell him tells me he’s 29. At that point, I hit 30 years, 35 years of experience. I’m explaining how things work. Well, that’s just your opinion. No, it’s not just my opinions based on a lot of research and training and experience. There is a reality to this. It’s not just some What do you have to feel the better today? There’s reasons things work and reasons things don’t work.

Jackie Critzer 16:54
I love it. So really What To Do When… There’s Still Hope. It sounds like to me what the first thing is find a properly credentialed marriage counselor. Not all counselors are created equally, not all people who call themselves marriage and family counselors are equally created. But find someone who’s appropriately credentialed who really is in the business of defending and fighting for marriage. Number 1.

Scott Cardani 17:20
Yep. I think that’s very true. And I think. What would number #2 be then Jackie? Since you have your list I saw… ha.

Jackie Critzer 17:26
Well, number two, did you ever love each other analyzing that that second step? There’s so many other pieces. But did you ever love each other? Do you still? And then I think the third step is do you want to save it? And I just those and that was just a couple of pieces of one of the lists that we got from Bill but but if you never loved them? Well, I’m not sure that there’s a whole lot of hope there. But most people who get married at least loved each other at one time.

William Faith 17:27
They do.

Jackie Critzer 17:37
And do you want to save it, you know, you’re not looking to go to a counselor if you’re not interested in saving it.

William Faith 18:01
Folks say – I like you, but I don’t love you or I’m in love with you. I love you. But I’m not in love with you. And I come back and say Get over yourself. Emotions wax and wane, people get tired or depressed or somebody dies you’d like it’s hard sometimes. Just because you don’t in love with all the magic anymore in the glitter doesn’t mean you don’t love each other. It doesn’t mean you can’t fix it. Go back to that couple where she got mad at me cursing me. If you spoke to them today, they will tell you that the happiest they’ve ever been including early in their marriage, because they acquired a skill set that this society does not teach.

Jackie Critzer 18:43
If you like what you’ve heard today, we’re doing a mini series here with Bill faith and look forward to another couple episodes in this mini series. And we’re excited to have him so we’re gonna we’re going to keep them going for the next few podcasts. If you have questions or comments, we’d love to hear from you at [email protected].

Scott Cardani 19:01
Remember to like and subscribe that just helps us know we’re out there doing good. That’s really our purpose in this is to provide people information.

Jackie Critzer 19:08
Thank you. See you next time.

What To Do When… Outro 11:56

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