A while ago a person dear to me, accused me of being a marriage saver – I say accused as she was angry that I would suggest that from my point of view, there were still things of value to treasure in her relationship. What she wanted from me was to agree with her that it was time to leave and get over it. I was not telling her what to do at all. I believe we all have to travel our own paths – create our own journey. But sometimes when we are drowning in a sea of pain and the source of that pain is our relationship it is very difficult to see beyond the next wave.
Just like a caterpillar struggles out of it’s cocoon to become a beautiful butterfly, often for something to reach its true beautiful potential a struggle needs to occur. In working with couples where there has been an affair, or years of ongoing pain, I have seen time and again it is the greatest struggles that yield the most amazing results. So, to me, a relationship is never “dead on arrival”. The first thing I do is look for the heartbeat and know that when I find that heartbeat (and it is always there) – anything is possible from there.
The relationship is the space between the two people in it and both are responsible for what this space looks like. If a relationship is struggling or in pain and you want it to be different the only option is to change. This is the hard part. It requires you both to get out of your comfort zone, be willing to be afraid as you face a different future and learn what you need to get you there.
I am not a “marriage saver” – I wish it were that simple. But perhaps all that may be required for you to save your own relationship is a bit of help to make that change. I have often wondered why we will use an accountant to ensure that we maximise our tax return, or a golf-Pro to improve our handicap but the thought of help to make our most important relationships the best they can be makes us feel like a failure. The fact is we all learn our relationship skills from the people we see around us from birth. If they were good at relationships then we were lucky and may have some skills that will hold us well over time. If they struggled, unfortunately we are behind from the start and need to catch up. We cannot live what we do not know.