Willits resident Jed Diamond, Ph.D., internationally renowned author and therapist, will be presenting an all-day workshop on Saturday, May 14th at the Little Lake Grange entitled The Enlightened Marriage: A Master’s Class for Those Who Still Believe in Love.
Diamond, founder and director of MenAlive, a health program that helps men live long and well, gleans much expertise from his own personal experience and remembers a pivotal event in his life as a very young boy when his father, who was having a difficult time supporting their family, experienced a mid-life crisis resulting in a a nervous breakdown, an attempted suicide and a stay in a mental hospital.
“For me, I grew up wondering if what happened to him would happen to me,” he says. “Those two questions began my journey to understand relationships, what happens to them and what happens to men when they are living under seemingly irreconcilable stress.”
With the idea of entering the helping professions, he attended UC Santa Barbara as a pre med student and then went to medical school at UCSF. At the time the medical field was narrow, very biologically oriented, and he wanted something that would embrace a broader perspective, including the social, political and family aspects of stress.
He dropped out and attended UC Berkeley where in 1968 he earned a Master’s degree in social work. He was married and, when confronted with being refused entry to the delivery room where his wife was giving birth to his first son, pushed open the doors and said he was staying.
“As I held my son, I made a vow to him that I would be a different kind of father to him than my father had been able to be for me,” he says.
After ten years, he and his wife split up, and in accordance with the gestalt of the time, their son and adopted daughter stayed with their mother.
Practicing as an LCSW and married for the second time, he was struggling to put into practice in his own life that which he was teaching others—how to have a good marriage.
“I felt like a fraud as a therapist, as a marriage counselor and as a man,” he says. “In order for me to have kept going, I knew I had to learn the secret of a successful marriage.”
As his second marriage came to a close, he realized that his conception of marriage, or his love map, was flawed. He needed time for reflection and meditation and, after a number of years, he met his present wife Carlin; the third time has been the charm.
The Marriage Master’s class, derived from his 14th book, The Enlightened Marriage: The Five Transformative Stages of Relationships and Why the Best is Still to Come, is a presentation of what he has learned over the last 36 years, being together in a loving and enlightened marriage and attaining a lasting love.
The myth of the two-stage marriage—falling in love and then living happily ever after—is erroneous.
“Many people hit a wall of disillusionment and disconnection; that’s when they people break up. Instead of leaving, that’s the time to go deeper; rather than signaling the end, it’s really the beginning of the third stage, letting go of the illusions we have of ourselves and the other person,” he says. “We have to learn to see them as they really are, not what we project onto them, and to learn to become more forgiving, honest, accepting and real.”
This disillusionment has its roots in childhood relationships and problems with parents are projected into the marriage. The deeper journey to heal present-day rifts begins with healing the unfinished parts of our earlier life with the family with which we grew up. From this, the relationship can move into real lasting love.
“The notion that romantic love and that first stage of love is limited to a few months or a number of years is not true. People want to be in love; it’s a human need and, with the enriched power of two, we can make the world a better place.”
The one-day workshop, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. is for those who are in a good relationship and want it to be great; those in a troubled relationship and want to keep their marriage together; singles looking for a soul mate; and particularly those in mid life, single or married. The price for the workshop is $350 for couples and $195 for singles. Payment options are available and there is a, no risk, money back guarantee, if for any reason the class didn’t meet your needs.
“Having been in two marriages that didn’t last, I would like to be able to save people from that pain and suffering. I want them to know the joy and experience of real love, how good a marriage can be when you have the right tools. I want to share that joy and for people to know they can have real love that can last through time,” he says.
Photo Credit: http://www.printingplus.ink/