Yes. Yes, it can be.
And being in an intimate partnership can also be one of the most wonderful things in your life!
There are a lot of considerations in choosing a life partner.
You can’t predict what all is ahead for you.
Most of the time, your relationship is great, but miscommunication can lead to shouting matches with little resolution.
You’re still in love with your partner and committed to a life together – you just wished it was, well, more.
Or maybe a partner’s betrayal from an affair shattered your trust in the relationship.
Whether you’re just drawing up the plans, renovating, updating, repairing or dismantling…
…I’m here to help you wherever you may be in your relationship.
You can build and maintain a Sound Relationship House (Gottman) on a solid foundation of friendship.
Congratulations, you’ve found the love of your life!
You’re pretty sure… almost certain.
Maybe you, or your partner, have some nagging doubts about the next step – cuz it’s a biggie.
Listen to that inner voice asking questions.
That’s a skeptical part of you that’s calling attention to something that needs tending prior to taking the plunge.
Using Gottman’s Sound Relationship House, you can learn the research-based method to stay together happily for many, many years.
You’ll become more intentional about building the culture of your relationship and strengthening its foundation.
“Love doesn’t come with a contract
You give me this I gave you that
It’s scary business
Your heart and soul is on the line
Baby why else would I be standing round here so tongue tied
If I knew what I was doing
I’d be doing it right now
I would be the best damn poet
Silver words out of my mouth”
– Radney Foster, “I’m In”
Does this sound like you…?
“We’ve got a great relationship most of the time. Then we’ll just be talking, get into a misunderstanding and it ends up in a big fight.”
“Afterwards, when we go back over it – turns out we were saying the same thing, just in different ways.”
You need a translator.
Better yet, a shared language so your words can help solve problems rather than cause them.
Non-Violent Communication (aka Collaborative or Compassionate Communication) is the best way I’ve found to help identify feelings and learn to express them in productive ways.
Beyond the “I statement,” it also helps couples become more aware of the unmet needs that uncomfortable feelings point toward.
It gives them the ability to make requests in service of getting those needs met.
You knew marriage was not going to be a walk in the park…
…but you’re several years into this now, with kids and a house, and things are not like you thought they’d be.
Juggling work, kids, family, and friends leaves precious little time for being a couple.
You feel too young to have lost your spark.
You PROMISED each other you would never wind up like those older couples you see at restaurants – together, but distant; not talking or on their phones.
I’m glad you’re listening to your discontented parts and researching how to make it better!
You both deserve an exciting, fulfilling marriage.
Together, we can discover what’s at the root of your discontent and execute a mid-course correction for your relationship to make it all you’ve ever wanted and more.
“Before another bitter word gets loose
I was hoping we could call a truce
Cause nobody wins, we both lose
Hearts get broken and love gets bruised
When we light that same
Old fuse again and again
Nobody wins, slamming doors
We’ve both lost this fight before
And I won’t play this game no more
Cause nobody wins”
– Radney Foster, “Nobody Wins”
“THAT’S NOT WHAT I SAID!” you screamed back at your partner.
A movement just over his shoulder caught your eye and you realized your dog had slunk away, tail between his legs, into the safety of his crate.
It hit you. This has gotten out of control. The bickering. The arguing. The fighting.
If you are scaring your dog, what’s it going to be like when the baby gets older and witnesses Mom & Dad fighting?
Not only that, but who wants their marriage to feel more like a sparring match than your most intimate relationship?
It feels like you go back and forth between walking on eggshells and defending yourself. It’s exhausting.
Conflict is good.
Healthy conflict, that is. Healthy conflict is how you and your partner discover and explore your differences and get to know each other more intimately.
The two of you have been practicing the unhealthy way you disagree for years. It’s time to learn a better way to resolve conflict – a new dance.
And if you’ll let me, I’m here to help you learn and practice the steps to that new dance.
You never thought it could happen to you.
Everything was going great until you picked up your partner’s phone to get the number for a friend and saw the texts.
Nothing would ever be the same again.
Affairs are huge ruptures of trust and respect – the two hardest things to repair in a relationship.
The good news is that with help, you can sort through and repair.
It’s like a broken bone.
Initially excruciating, painful to set, long to heal.
However, once healed, it becomes stronger at the point where it was broken.
Like a broken bone, it can never not have happened…it’s virtually impossible to go back to “how it was before.”
It is possible, after a time of initial healing, to build a relationship that’s better. A relationship that’s stronger.
“I’m bringing my wife to couple’s counseling. We want to work on our marriage.”
“Bringing” your partner to couples counseling might lead to disappointing results.
When one member of the couple is leaning out of the marriage and the other is leaning in, what usually follows is frustration – for them, and their therapist.
Discernment Counseling is a relatively new addition to traditional Couples Counseling.
It’s contained – usually 4-7 sessions – and follows a process of review and reflection.
Separately and together, you’ll contemplate three paths: staying together as you are, committing to make couples counseling and your relationship a priority (taking leaving off the table) for at least 6 months, or divorcing/uncoupling with as much love and respect as possible.
“I did it for you, and the boys,
Because love should teach you joy,
And not the imitation,
That your momma and daddy tried to show you.
I did it for you, and for me,
And because I still believe,
There’s only one thing,
You can never give up,
Never compromise on,
And that’s the real thing you need in love”
– David Foster & Kenny Loggins, “The Real Thing”
It’s just not going to work.
In a flash of insight, that much is clear.
You’ve tried, but there is too much damage to your relationship – or maybe there was never enough in common in the first place.
No one sets out to have a bad or failed marriage.
You’ve stayed together this long “for the kids,” but now you’re seeing signs that maybe they’re not really benefitting.
The first way your children learn what intimate partnerships look like is observing their parents.
Your relationship is what “normal” will be for them.
Even if you aren’t fighting like crazy, if you’re not honestly loving and affectionate with each other, they sense and see what is not there just as much.
It’s possible they – and both of you – will live better, more fulfilling lives with the two of you divorced and co-parenting well together.
We can work together to do this in a compassionate and respectful way, without fighting and drama.
I can help you honor what your relationship has been, and move forward towards a healthy, happy family.
You are worth it. Your partner is worth it. Your relationship is worth it and your family is worth it. Take the first step and call me today. (512) 633-1994