Written By Ben Caesar
I first met Stephen in the summer of 2015 at a time when my life had become turbulent and my second marriage was failing. Originally, I had intended to attempt to use Stephen’s expertise to help my wife and I to reconcile and work out the problems that had developed during our short marriage.
We had faced a 6 month period from hell with failed IVF, job loss and the death of a father on a background of ongoing professional exams and my transfer into the regular Army; more than enough life events to test the mettle of any couple’s relationship.
However, for reasons best known to my wife, she couldn’t find it in herself to allow Stephen to help her with our relationship, and so I continued to see Stephen, and something remarkable happened to me as a result.
Following years of internalised unhappiness and constant frustration at my inability to relate well to those around me, my work with Stephen led me down a path I had never expected. Stephen suddenly opened my eyes to what I thought I valued, and then enabled me to realise that I wasn’t being true to what I really valued; I moved almost overnight from being primarily driven by a desire for significance to discovering that what I truly wanted was emotional connection and love.
The work we did together and my natural inquisitiveness started me along a road of increasing research into areas of understanding that I’d never contemplated before. My sessions with Stephen, and my own reading and investigations, allowed me to become increasingly empathetic and able to understand far better what both my female and male friends and family were saying when they spoke to me and each other. It was as though I was able to understand a new language; but it was one I’d spoken all my life without really knowing what I was saying and what others were trying to say to me, which had led to a lifetime of miscommunication and misunderstanding.
Stephen also gave me an ability to deal with some of the significantly traumatic events in my life, not least of all the death of my father in a flying accident when I was 10 years old, that had constantly plagued my interpersonal relationships. I was able to take ownership of my mistakes and face life’s challenges with a clearer perspective. I no longer needed to regress at a time of anxiety and stress to being that frightened little boy who’d just had his father taken from him.
I now find myself in a new job in a new city with wonderful friends and colleagues. I have restored my close, but previously dysfunctional, relationship with my mother to something we now both cherish and nurture. I have an enhanced and beautiful relationship with my 10 year old son, who was starting to get emotionally injured by my personal challenges. I wake in the morning and like the man I see in the mirror, something I have never been able to say before.
My time with Stephen has taught me a number things.
Firstly, that life will continue to give you the same challenges until you make meaningful and sustainable changes to yourself.
Secondly, you can only make changes to yourself and no one else, and if those changes are not enough for another person then perhaps that relationship needs to be re-evaluated.
Thirdly, most interpersonal relationships will run into difficulties if we do not clearly understand what our own needs and values are; I was certainly behaving in ways I had learned that were not true to my core values, and now I am able to see that, unsurprisingly, this made me unhappy which translated into unhappiness for those closest to me, and misunderstandings with those who lived and worked around me.
Finally, we may use the same words but men and women speak a different language, and in order for us to have fulfilling and meaningful relationships with one another, we should take the time to learn each other’s language. I believe that by doing this, we can all experience a happier and more rewarding life with those who share it with us. Stephen will help you to do this and enable you to embark on an unexpected journey of self discovery and continuous self improvement.
I thank Stephen for the gift he has given me, and know that despite the fact that my second marriage may still end in divorce, I am now a much improved version of myself and immeasurably happier too.