You and your partner are at a crossroads...
Your relationship doesn’t work, not really, not the way you’d like it to. But you’re at a loss for how to fix it. You’ve read self-help books and maybe even tried counseling. And maybe those things helped, for a time. But now it seems that you and your partner are back where you started. Or maybe things have gotten worse. The distance between you keeps growing and you’re beginning to wonder if maybe the two of you just don’t love each other anymore. Maybe it’s time to throw in the towel, cut your losses, and walk away.
At the same time that you’re having these thoughts and sitting with these hard emotions, another part of you doesn’t want to give up. Refuses to give up. Some days it doesn’t even make sense but there it is nonetheless. Deep down inside part of you knows—just knows—that you and your partner are meant to be together and that to end your relationship now would be a terrible mistake.
You and your partner are indeed at a crossroads. So, then, what are you supposed to do?
The reason most self-help books, relationship workshops, and couples counseling fail is because the changes they suggest often don’t go deep enough and lack the power necessary to bring about real and lasting change.
Think of it this way: Your relationship is like a wide and fast moving river, the course of which follows the same habitual patterns that you and your partner have, over the years, carved into the bedrock of your life together. Ever notice how the two of you tend to have the same fight over and over? The issues might change, but the way the two of you interact remains predictably the same. That’s the river. And once it gets flowing—in that negative direction—there is almost nothing either one of you can do to stop it.
A book about relationships or a weekend workshop for couples isn’t going to change the course of a powerful river like that. Neither is counseling that merely focuses on the various problems that you and your partner bring to session each week, or that focuses on mere insight into why each of you behaves the way you do, or that teaches communication skills. That kind of therapy is like rebuilding in a flood zone. You can do it, but your house is going to get destroyed again the next time it rains. And it always rains.
You and your partner have very real and important issues that need to be discussed and worked through. All couples do. And we’ll get to those. But, before we do, we need to get underneath the surface of your problems to the emotional and behavioral bedrock that, right now, is keeping you and your partner stuck and preventing your relationship from functioning in a healthy, effective, and satisfying way.
In short, we need to re-engineer your relationship from the ground up so that now, the flow of your river, instead of driving the two of you apart, brings you closer together with greater warmth, closeness, safety, and intimacy.
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