We all grow up with this fairy-tale romance idea of relationships that we see in the movies.
While this intense, amazing, life changing passion may be the case for a year or two (while you are all hopped up on happy chemicals in your brain), there is more to the story of marriage. Most couples find themselves feeling hurt and lonely at some point in their relationship, leading to a cycle of disconnection or lashing out. This is a actually a common phase of relationships called the Power Struggle Stage. If this sounds familiar, congratulations! You have picked the ideal partner to push all of your buttons and help you grow. This is where marriage coaching can help guide you to build stronger intimacy and connection.
“69 percent of relationship ‘problems’ do not get ‘solved’; they are successfully managed with good communication and respectful boundaries.”
Relationship Expert, Dr. John Gottman
Turn conflict into connection.
Research shows that ‘growing apart’ is the single biggest reason people give for divorce. In addition, about two-thirds of couples see the quality of their relationship drop within three years of the birth of a child, according to data from the Relationship Research Institute. Conflict increases and, with little time for adult conversation and sex, emotional distance can develop. In marriage coaching, we will work together to learn effective communication skills, gain an understand of you and your partner’s needs, work on accepting each others’ differences, and celebrate all of the good stuff that brought you together in the first place.
“I had no idea what to expect from marriage coaching and was pleasantly surprised. I’m not saying that it was easy, but the results have been more than worth my investment. If we did not do this, we would have split up for sure.”Married Couple Client
YOU CAN BENEFIT FROM MARRIAGE COACHING IF:
1. The communication has become negative. Once communication has deteriorated, you can often cause damage to each other and the relationship. It is best to get help sooner than later to begin to repair the relationship.
2. One or both partners considered having an affair, or one partner has had an affair. Recovering from an affair is possible, but it takes a lot of work. It takes commitment and a willingness to forgive, learn new communication skills, and be vulnerable.
3. You and your spouse seems to be “just occupying the same space.” Many couples end up feeling like roommates at some point in their relationship. If there is a lack of communication, conversation, and intimacy and the couple feels they just “co-exist,” this may indicate a need for marriage coaching.
4. Neither of you know how to resolve your differences. Knowing how to have healthy discussions is the biggest predictor of marital success. You must learn how to negotiate conflict and respect each others’ differences.
5. One or both of you begin to act out on negative feelings. Negative feelings such as resentment or disappointment can turn into hurtful, sometimes harmful behaviors. Criticism and contempt are relationship killers.
6. The only resolution appears to be separation. When a couple disagrees or argues, a break often is very helpful. However, when a timeout turns into a temporary separation, this may indicate a need for marriage coaching. When the absent partner returns, the problem is still there, but often avoided because time has passed.
I would be happy to talk further about your specific needs.
When it comes to marriage, practice doesn’t make perfect. In fact, it only seems to make you worse. That’s why the divorce rate continues to get higher for each additional marriage. The divorce rate for a third marriage is 73%.
Relationship skills must be learned. Marriage Coaching can help you…
- Learn ways to communicate better
- Know how to argue in a healthier way
- Rebuild intimacy and trust
- Resolve conflicts and problem solve in a productive manner
- Practice appropriate expression, disclosure and resolution of painful emotions
- Express your needs clearly and openly within your relationship
- Work through unresolved issues
- Not repeat old damaging patterns
- Negotiate for change within your relationship
- Celebrate your successes and what is working
“Studies show that, in the hands of a good mentor,
marriage coaching is successful 70- 80% of the time.”
William Doherty, PhD, LCSW (professor of family social science at the University of Minnesota)
“My biggest fear of seeking coaching was that it might confirm how hopeless I felt and that I would leave my marriage. I knew a divorce would be devastating to my family and I really didn’t want to put anyone through that. After a few sessions, I felt relieved and saw a away to rebuild trust after an affair. We are practicing new communication patterns and feeling closer that we did before.”Wife of Married Couple Client
Tools To Communicate, Connect, and Grow:
In marriage coaching, we will focus on building better communication skills and a deeper connection. We will work on recognizing all of your strengths as a couple, and work on any possible trouble spots. I will give you all the tools and best tips on helping your marriage be successful. Couples coaching will help you move from blame and reactivity to understanding and empathy. We will work on being totally attuned with your partner by mastering mirroring, validating, and empathizing in a way that works for both of you. In marriage therapy, nobody is right or wrong. I use many of the research based couples counseling methods, including Emotionally Focused Therapy, Imago Relationship Therapy, and The Gottman Method. The challenge is to learn how to talk together about things that really matter, in a way that feels safe, supportive, and positive.
Dr. John Gottman, a relationship expert, has done years of extensive research on couples. He can predict with 90% accuracy which couples will succeed and which will fail. Here is what he found:
What Works in Relationships…
1.) High Levels of Friendship, Respect, and Humor
2.) A Ratio of 5:1 Positive Interactions to Negative Ones
3.) Successful “Bids for Attention”
4.) Soft Starts to Disagreements
5.) Husband Accepts Influence from the Wife
6.) Understanding Each Other’s Needs, Likes, Dislikes
7.) Supporting Each Other’s Goals and Aspirations
Imago Therapy, first described by Harville Hendrix, PhD, in his best-seller “Getting the Love You Want,” as a “revolutionary way to work with couples”. This therapy has touched the lives of over 100,000 people in approximately 30 countries. It is about really understanding each other’s needs and how to support each other in growth. Oprah said that her show with Harville Hendrix on Imago Therapy was one of her Top 20 Shows throughout her 20 years of having her own show, and that this model of understanding couples changed her view of relationships.
“I know of no better guide for couples who genuinely desire a maturing relationship.”
– Scott Pect, author of The Road Less Traveled and other best-selling books.
The Five Basic Principles of Effective Couples Work:
UCLA psychologists recently published a major review of over 40 years of research on couples therapy (Benson et al., 2012) in which they synthesized the approaches of the most successful couples counseling strategies.
- Changes the views of the relationship: education, new tools, stop the “blame game”
- Modifies dysfunctional behavior: practice constructive communication patterns
- Decreases emotional avoidance: practice safe, open communication
- Improves communication: learn to speak and listen more effectively and empathically
- Promotes strengths: builds resilience gets best results