The Couples Course

The Couples Course is a unique program designed to help couples recapture the love and passion they felt for each other at the beginning of their relationship. It’s based on the premise that those original feelings that drew you to one another have not gone away. They are alive and well but may have, over time, become buried under some debris. Join Now!
How to Cut the Reaction Cycle and Create a New Future

How to Cut the Reaction Cycle and Create a New Future

I had an upsetting experience recently that led to a breakthrough in how to create a future that looks different from the past. There are times in everyone’s life when we seem unable to control our emotional reaction to an upsetting circumstance. Our first response feels automatic. The same familiar feelings, complaints, and emotions are triggered and play out like a recording. More importantly, the same uncharitable and limiting beliefs about ourselves, our lives and the people around us are reinforced. Eventually, we get past the anger, frustration, hurt or disappointment and move on. Or do we? More often than [...]

How To Save a Marriage After Separation – Part 02

How To Save a Marriage After Separation – Part 02

There is an understandable sense of finality once one of the partners has actually moved out. One might easily interpret this as the beginning of the end. I highly recommend against making it mean that. Click here to view the Part 01 of How To Save a Marriage After Separation. Stay in Process You’ll have a tendency to judge your progress toward reconciliation at any particular point. Doing so will toss you back and forth between hope to despair. Playing the “He/she loves me, he/she loves me not” game will be very stressful. Instead, think of it this way–there is [...]

Relationships Are Forever

Relationships Are Forever

Years ago, I read somewhere that relationships are forever, that they may appear to end but they really don’t. At the time, I immediately dismissed the idea as nonsense citing many cases where people I once knew were out of my life completely (and probably for the better, I thought). Now I think there is some truth to that statement and I notice how having that belief has changed my behavior and attitude toward people—especially the ones with whom I have been in conflict. What changed my mind was the three years during which I consulted with the auto industry. [...]

Losing Face – a Relationship Grenade

Losing Face – a Relationship Grenade

Did you ever wonder why a particular conversation between you and your partner developed into a surprisingly heated argument? You may have the thought, “Wow! Your reaction seems out of all proportion! All I said was …” If you made the mistake of saying the previous sentences aloud, you’ve seen how they can further inflame the discussion and arouse even more defensiveness When you get an unexpectedly defensive reaction it is usually because you have unwittingly said something that touched a level of shame in your partner. If the reaction is really hostile, it may be related to an earlier [...]

How To Save a Marriage After Separation – Part 01

How To Save a Marriage After Separation – Part 01

As you might imagine it is easier to save a marriage that is still intact than one in which the process of separation has begun. That being said, there are ways to save a marriage even after you are living apart. First, you must have a sincere and strong desire to reconcile and most importantly, you must believe that this is possible. Protect yourself from negativity Many well-meaning friends will tell you that your separation is the beginning of the end. They will advise you to get on with your life, to get your own lawyer, or to start dating [...]

Tips for Accepting and Forgiving Ourselves

Tips for Accepting and Forgiving Ourselves

One of the hardest things for us to do as leaders, spouses, or parents is to accept ourselves exactly the way we are and accepting our situation exactly the way it is. We are, as a society, very oriented toward self-improvement. In many ways this is a good thing. It’s natural for us to want to learn, grow and expand our knowledge of the world, of our partner and of ourselves. In business, continuous improvement management has been very effective in increasing productivity and reducing systemic errors. People in good marriages keep looking at ways to improve how they communicate [...]

The Power of Self Awareness and Self Expression

The Power of Self Awareness and Self Expression

One of the most valuable things you can do for your relationship is to work on yourself. This may seem counter-intuitive since our mate will often appear to be the one who needs work. (It’s not me, its him/her!) As it turns out, it’s actually easier to change ourselves than it is to change our partner. We don’t have a lot of control over our partner but we do have some control over our responses in any given situation. Notice that I said responses and not reactions. Our reactions to things people do or say are often automatic and happen [...]

To Save Our Marriage, Let’s Never Argue

To Save Our Marriage, Let’s Never Argue

I remember watching shows about wild animals as a kid. One thing that always struck me was a scene in Africa involving a mother lion and her two cubs. The mother is lying on a gentle slope cleaning her paws by licking them and not really paying much attention to the cubs. The young cubs are above her on the slope wrestling and having a great time rolling on top of each other. At one point, still clinging to each other, they tumble down the hill toward their mother and end up rolling right over her body. To my utter [...]

How to Save a Marriage? Remove the Rubble on the Runway

How to Save a Marriage? Remove the Rubble on the Runway

When couples first come to see me, anxious to save a marriage, I often get this image of their relationship as this fantastic airplane that is unable to take off anymore. There is really nothing wrong with the airplane. Unfortunately it never gets a chance to soar due to what I see as the rubble on the runway. The rubble is the left over arguments and hurts that were never resolved or forgiven. Some of the pieces of rubble are small and others are quite substantial in size. This debris is blocking the plane’s ability to fly. The plane has [...]

Can This Marriage Be Saved?

Can This Marriage Be Saved?

In my many conversations with married couples, often, after laying out the issues they are grappling with, one of the partners will turn to me and say “Do you think our marriage can be saved?” I’ve been tempted at times to give them the odds of things working out based on the hundreds of other couples I’ve coached over 25 years. This would be a huge mistake. The truth is, I couldn’t possibly know the answer to that question. The only people who can say whether or not their marriage can be saved are the people in the marriage. I’ve [...]