Should we continue with our marriage?

My husband and I have been married 17 years and in recent years had been hitting the same wall of not understanding each other resulting in defensive behaviour, anger, frustration and indifference. 

The future certainly didn’t look bright and with the prospect of our two sons leaving home, neither of us were sure if we wanted to continue with our marriage.

We had sought other marriage counselling earlier in our marriage and although it had helped to some extent, it hadn’t got to the nub of the problem.  We decided to seek Stephen’s help and went with an open mind and a sense of relief that we were, at least, doing something about the problems we faced.

Over the course of six months, Stephen saw us both together and separately.  We grew to trust him and his methods.  In the beginning, we could park our problems with him and give ourselves a rest from the nagging feeling that our marriage was doomed with the resulting sense of fear for the future.

Stephen’s methods are subtle, yet illuminating.

He’s kind and funny and a great listener.  He explains why we behave the way we do.  He points out the marked differences between men and women. He gives you tools to cope with the challenges of marriage and how to nurture it.

There are ‘light bulb’ moments but mostly his approach is subtle and so long as you are prepared to listen and act – you will fix your marriage.

I know, because, my husband and I are now looking forward to a bright future.  We want to be together and build on the life we’ve created.

Thank you so much, Stephen.

J.D.

Glos

“I can’t see a way forward – I want a divorce!”

karen kennaby

Testimonial by Karen Kennaby

Less than 3 months ago I told my husband of nearly 10 years that I wanted a divorce. This wasn’t a sudden decision I had been unhappy and unfulfilled in my marriage for a very long time and I couldn’t see any way forward. I certainly couldn’t imagine “celebrating” our 10-year anniversary in 4 months from then.

This wasn’t the first time I’d brought this up but this time I was adamant that we had come to the end of the road, it was a very painful conversation. My husband didn’t accept it – at all.

We agreed to seek help.

Neither of us had any faith in traditional marriage counselling, both having experienced it in previous marriages. But being a “veteran” coach myself I DO have great belief in the power of highly experienced coaching as a means to moving through major challenges and creating transformation – I’ve seen it time and again with my own clients.

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Does Marriage Therapy Work?

There are many talking therapies such as Marriage Therapy, Psychology, Marriage Counselling, Relationship Coaching, but the question I am always asked is do they work.

The answer is yes and no.

Plus there is a lot of press from major sources about how marriage counselling causes more harm than good.

  • I practice Relationship Coaching, simply because it gets results.
  • I have been doing this for many years and I am going to share with you my experiences.

What makes the difference is a few key factors in no particular order.

100% Commitment to the process is critical.

Many individuals go into the process half heartedly, and this slows progress or they remove themselves sabotaging themselves and their future.

In my practice usually a couple has made solid progress within 8-12 weeks. Many people who come to me after trying marriage counselling for 12-18+ months with little to no success.

Openness to learn about how we work

Many people are stuck in their beliefs about the world and how they and relationships should work. They have yet to realise that the meanings they give their world are purely perceptions based on their life experiences so far.

Understand their fears

People in relationship crisis fear many things and understanding these fears is critical.

Leverage is the key

Helping people understand the true place they will go if they carry on causing problems.

Understanding their distorted selves

Many people with problems have created distorted versions of themselves to cope with their lives. This act of rebalancing helps to create unhappy very tired versions of themselves leading to relationship stress, depression and anxiety.

Understanding polarity shifts

When a man has been brought up by his mother, or the mother has been dominant in the mother, father relationship, his model of how relationships should be can cause major problems in his future relationships. Especially if his partner has not had that same experience growing up.

Women can also shift into masculine roles to cope with fearful situations this can happen at any time of life also causing them problems as life will not feel how it should.

The sexes communicate totally differently

This is critical to understand. When we speak to the opposite sex in the context of our relationships what are they hearing? You may or not be surprised to know that whatever your intention it will not be understood.
So learning to understand the meanings behind your partner words is critical.

Does the relationship have a purpose?

Why are the couple together, where are they going and why. Many couple have no idea and so it’s not long before they feel lost and fearful.

Understanding each others critical needs

Human needs have to be met and more importantly those needs have to be supported by what’s most important to the individuals in the relationship. Failure to do this will result in the indivuals meeting their needs but still feeling unhappy. They may feel lost, alone or moving toward depression and relationship break-ups.

The more you understand each other the better your chances of keeping your relationship growing and passionate.