When you work with couples and people experiencing problems in their relationships, some weeks are better than others.
Couples generally come in angry, frustrated and disconnected, and individuals are wrangling with all kinds of fears.
But nothing is more rewarding than helping work through these negative feelings to get to the other side.
I do this work to help people get to the other side together.
Lately, it feels like we have been getting to the other side a bit more.
The promise of spring might have something to do with it here on the East Coast, but I’ve also seen people sweat on my couch and really take risks for each other. Their work is paying off.
I’ve seen new engagement rings and have heard talks of marriage just this week, and it has been awesome.
I applaud my clients and those like them. Here’s why:
More and more, couples are recognizing their needs for better relationships before they make the decision to get married.
People are being less swept away by the allure of marriage and all of its promises, and they are refusing more and more to settle.
I stand by people refusing to settle.
You deserve someone who feels lucky to have you – and someone you feel lucky to be with too.
If you haven’t found them yet, I know they’re out there (it’s important for to know that too).
But if you’re in love with your partner, and just can’t seem to make it work, it may not be because you’re settling.
You may not have the whole “love” thing figured out.
After all, no one teaches us about this.
I didn’t even learn about love from graduate school in clinical psychology.
And no one explicitly taught me about love, until I went to a training with the woman who has cracked the code of love herself, Dr. Sue Johnson.
Fortunately, Sue’s work is catching on like wildfire and so it is being taught in more psychology graduate programs, but “back in the day” (which doesn’t feel like so long ago…but was a decade ago–eek!) when I was in school, her work wasn’t nearly as popular as it is today.
Because of Sue and pioneers like her: We are on the verge of a revolution.
We now understand how love makes sense.
And honestly, it’s kind of sad that couples who are distressed enough to seek out Emotionally Focused couples therapy are some of the few who learn about how love makes sense and what love is all about.
While it is wise for ANY couple to get a handle on what love is all about, it especially makes sense to do this while you’re about to take the next steps together.
We are on the tipping point of a revolution in which love will no longer be the most questioned and mysterious thing out there – since we now have the answer – and hopefully more and more couples will reap the rewards of it and raise more secure, well connected children as a result.
My message here: Figure out your relationship.
Why is now the best time to figure out your relationship?
Now is the best time for you to work on your relationship because the sooner you put it off, the worse things will get.
If you’re thinking about taking the next steps together, or if you’re engaged to be married, now is the perfect time to learn about what love is all about.
If you’re experiencing any kind of hesitation, question or distress in your relationship and you’re about to get hitched, do yourself a favor and make the time to figure it out.
You’ll experience a much better wedding and honeymoon, and likely marriage, as a result.
Figuring out your relationship before you get married is fantastic because it will not only help you get clear on whatever issues that you do have, but it will help prevent them from getting worse.
It’s easy to cast aside those little problems and brush them under the rug, or think, “I’m asking for too much,” but trust me – these “little” questions and problems that you have are like pebbles in your shoes. You can ignore them only but for so long before your foot is torn up and bleeding.
Working with couples who have had problems for a few years is a lot easier than helping couples who have facing the same issues for decades. It’s easier for me, of course, but it’s a LOT easier for them, and they see results faster because their negative cycles and problems aren’t nearly as entrenched.
Science now shows us what love is all about – why not learn about it?
Not only is this stuff fascinating, but it will help you in every area of your life, as a healthy relationship does.
If you’re not experiencing distress, why not divorce proof your marriage by figuring out how to make it work?
Here are the perfect books for you to start:
Hold Me Tight: Seven Conversations for a Lifetime of Love by Dr. Sue Johnson (released 2008)
Love Sense: The Revolutionary New Science of Romantic Relationships by Dr. Sue Johnson (released 2013)
Sue Johnson has helped crack the code of love through her own work and by pulling together the best research in the fields of neuroscience, biology and psychology, and has made it available to everyone through her amazing books for the public.
You can also check out my workbook for couples:
Based largely upon Sue’s work and Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy, Your Best Love: The Couples Workbook and Guide to Their Best Relationship, is a book that I wrote last year complete with worksheets and exercises to do together.
I’m also cooking up an online relationship enrichment program that you can do with your partner to learn more about this science behind love, what it’s about, and how you can use it to help create your best relationship.
Couples counseling and coaching, pre-marital workshops and retreats are all excellent resources to also get this stuff down.
We don’t give our relationships nearly as much focus as they deserve.
After all, when they’re going poorly, this stress leaks into every area of our lives, and people are less healthy and unhappy as a result.
But when relationships go well, we are that much more supported in our lives, we are healthy, happy and more successful.
If you’re on the verge of getting hitched, take good care of your relationship, now and forever.
Cheers to your best relationship,