From ‘Me’ to ‘We’: Relationship and Marriage Coaching.

In the world of love and relationships, there’s a special time when two people come together, and it feels like nothing else matters. It’s like a fairytale, everything is wonderful, and you both glow with happiness. Your friends might look at your relationship and wish they had the same kind of love.

During this time, every moment you spend together feels amazing, and you can’t imagine anything ever going wrong. But as time goes on, this exciting ‘in love’ feeling often changes. It turns into something deeper, a strong commitment that goes beyond just feeling ‘in love’.

People who’ve been through this know that love isn’t just about those initial intense feelings. It’s also about building a life together, facing challenges, and forming a strong connection. The transition from the “in love” stage to a deeper love needs a different way of looking at things and a promise to grow and change together as a couple.

This article talks about the journey that couples go on, from the exciting beginning to the deep, lasting love of a lasting relationship or marriage.

We’ll explore how this change happens and share tips on how to make it work well. The goal is to have a happy and fulfilling marriage with your partner. So, let’s dive in and discover the secrets of long-lasting love and the wisdom of those who’ve gone from the early “in love” stage to a lifetime of love and commitment.

Two rings laying down on one another.

The answer is all to do with our brains and the chemical it releases into our bloodstream, Phenethylamine (sometimes referred to as the love drug) is released into our blood stream on average for the first four years of an intense intimate relationship, usually when we are with or around our partner, it is sometimes call the ‘love drug’.

Scientists have carried out extensive research on the affects of the ‘love drug’ and found that after around four years, the feelings of being ‘in love’ begin to fade, for some people it can feel like the love has gone as fast as it arrived, it can be a very upsetting time if we don’t understand or have an understanding that it is normal that it will happen this way.

For the most part, the love hasn’t gone, but understanding this is very important, as many relationships flounder around the four years stage, some people feel the fading of the ‘love drug’ is directly responsible for the high numbers of separations and divorces, though I feel it is more about not having the understanding of how our feelings work and change, and not having the tools to deal with each other’s personal issues.

Well there are no lessons for successful relationships, no how to do it manuals because we are all individuals with different types of baggage, different sizes and different levels of insight into our own personal issues. In many cases we live our relationships as our parents may have lived theirs, for some that will be a good thing, for others it could be the opposite of what we want for our own relationship.

Our personal issues are the single biggest reason why we struggle to have a happy, long lasting relationship, it’s not the fading of the ‘love drug’ as most people know, the in love stage is simply that, a beautiful but temporary period in a longer lasting journey together. so knowing and resolving our own issues is important within a relationship.

But what about our partner, the person we have chosen to spend our life with, maybe they have personal issues too. Its a fact that we don’t really get to know people very well until we are living with them and the flame has faded, when the love drug has diminished, that’s when such problems usually show themselves.

For people thinking about getting married or entering into a civil partnership, before you say ‘I Do’ it’ may be wise and helpful to have some relationship coaching, to look at ways of helping each other through the challenges ahead and exploring any possible difficulties before they develop into a relationship nightmare.

Maybe you have already started to plan your wedding or civil partnership, this will be an exciting and most likely a stressful time with lots to arrange. If you are fortunate enough to have friends, family and the finances to pay people to help you with some of ‘the must’ have wedding day frills, this will seem like a necessary price to pay for what will be a perfect day. You may however still be under a great deal of stress.

So, what about the most important frill, the connection and love between you and your loved one, how will that cope under the pressures which lay ahead, will the connection grow stronger through every challenge won, or will the challenges of life cast a shadow over the love and relationship which started out so perfect.

Many brides and husbands to be are now looking ahead and considering relationship coaching, either on their own and later as a couple, or as a couple with an online relationship coach. Some have even added relationship coaching to their wedding lists to cover the costs. It makes a lot of sense actually; you wouldn’t expect to be a great driver without having lessons first would you!

The transition from being single and thinking only of your own needs, to making a hopefully lifelong commitment to your partner and living as one is a very big life change, no change as big as this can go without a hitch. Often after the wedding day and the honeymoon have become distant memories and a more everyday pattern of living and sharing everything has taken the place of the ‘in love’ times, pressures of the new relationship and how it changes both of you can create inner conflict.

Preparing for the inevitable changes in oneself and within a relationship is a crucial aspect of nurturing a successful and enduring partnership. When you have a clear understanding of what to expect and how your relationship will evolve over time, you can equip yourself with the tools to adapt more gracefully to these changes. Here’s a guide to help you prepare for these shifts:

1. Seek Professional Guidance: One of the most effective ways to prepare for a thriving relationship, whether it’s a marriage, civil partnership, or any committed union, is to consult with a professional who specialises in understanding attachment styles and relationships. These experts can provide valuable insights and guidance tailored to your unique situation.

2. Understand Attachment Styles: Attachment styles play a significant role in how individuals connect with others and form relationships. Learning about your own attachment style and that of your partner can be enlightening. It can help you anticipate how each of you may respond to changes and challenges in the relationship.

3. Proactive Relationship Coaching: Consider relationship coaching as a proactive approach to maintaining a healthy partnership. Unlike marriage counseling, which often focuses on addressing issues after they’ve become problematic, relationship coaching is about nurturing and strengthening your relationship before challenges arise.

4. Effective Communication: Develop strong communication skills within your relationship. Open, honest, and respectful communication is essential for addressing change and growth as a couple. Create a safe space where both partners can freely express their thoughts and feelings.

5. Define Your Goals Together: Establish shared goals and aspirations for your relationship. This helps provide direction and a sense of purpose, guiding you through the changes and challenges that may arise.

6. Prioritize Self-Reflection: Encourage self-reflection for both you and your partner. Regularly take time to assess your own needs, desires, and personal growth. Encourage your partner to do the same. Self-awareness can lead to a healthier and more harmonious relationship.

7. Be Proactive, Not Reactive: Remember that being proactive in your relationship is often more manageable and effective than trying to resolve issues reactively. By focusing on nurturing your connection and addressing potential challenges early on, you can prevent many problems from escalating.

8. Embrace Change as Growth: Understand that change is a natural part of life and relationships. Embrace it as an opportunity for personal and relational growth. View each change as a chance to learn more about yourself and your partner.

9. Maintain Balance: While it’s important to invest in your relationship, remember to maintain a healthy balance between your individuality and togetherness. Continuously growing as individuals can contribute positively to the growth of your relationship.

In conclusion, preparing for the inevitable changes within yourself and your relationship involves seeking professional guidance, understanding attachment styles, practicing effective communication, setting shared goals, fostering self-reflection, and adopting a proactive approach. Embrace change as a catalyst for growth, and remember that investing in the well-being of your relationship can lead to a more fulfilling and enduring partnership.

Marriage coaching is a specialised form of personal coaching aimed at helping couples enhance their relationships, particularly within the context of marriage or long-term partnerships. What sets marriage coaching apart is its proactive approach—it’s not only for couples in distress but also for those who wish to strengthen their bond and prepare for the journey of marriage.

Here’s an overview of what marriage coaching entails:

Pre-Marital Preparation: Marriage coaching is not solely intended for couples experiencing challenges. It is also valuable as a pre-marital tool. Couples can seek coaching before marriage to build a strong foundation, enhance their understanding of each other, and develop effective communication and problem-solving skills. This proactive approach can help prevent potential issues down the road.

Communication Enhancement: Marriage coaches work with couples to improve their communication skills. They teach effective ways to express thoughts and feelings, actively listen, and navigate difficult conversations constructively.

Conflict Resolution: Coaches assist couples in identifying and addressing issues or conflicts within the relationship. They provide tools and techniques for resolving disputes and finding mutually satisfying solutions.

Strengthening Emotional Connection: Marriage coaching emphasizes the importance of emotional intimacy and helps couples nurture and deepen their connection. Coaches guide partners in rediscovering the emotional bond that brought them together in the first place.

Goal Setting: Coaches help couples define their relationship goals and individual aspirations. They support the development of shared objectives and a collective vision for the future.

Problem-Solving Skills: Coaches provide couples with strategies to identify and solve problems effectively. This equips them to handle challenges as a team.

Self-Awareness: Marriage coaching often includes self-awareness exercises for both partners. These exercises encourage individuals to better understand themselves, their needs, and their roles in the relationship.

Commitment Reinforcement: Coaches work to strengthen the commitment between partners. They may encourage couples to recommit to their relationship and actively nurture it.

Life Transition Guidance: Marriage coaches assist couples in navigating significant life transitions, such as starting a family, career changes, or retirement. They help partners adapt to these changes as a unified team.

Resilience Building: Coaches teach couples how to build resilience and effectively cope with challenges that may arise in their relationship, making the partnership more resilient overall.

Marriage coaching is a valuable investment for couples who want to create a strong, healthy, and enduring partnership. Seeking coaching before marriage is a proactive step that can lay the groundwork for a successful and fulfilling lifelong commitment. By addressing potential issues and learning essential relationship skills early on, couples can set themselves up for a more harmonious and resilient marriage.

When you opt for marriage coaching before your wedding, you can expect a range of valuable insights and guidance that will help you and your partner build a strong foundation for a successful and fulfilling marriage. Here’s what you can typically expect from marriage coaching before tying the knot:

Effective Communication Skills: Marriage coaches will work with you to enhance your communication abilities. You’ll learn how to express your thoughts and feelings clearly, listen actively to your partner, and communicate constructively, which is essential for a harmonious marriage.

Conflict Resolution Strategies: You’ll be equipped with practical techniques to identify and resolve conflicts in a healthy and productive manner. Learning how to manage disagreements early on can prevent small issues from escalating into larger problems down the road.

Understanding Each Other: Marriage coaching encourages you and your partner to delve deeper into your personalities, values, and expectations. This deeper understanding helps foster empathy and connection between you both.

Shared Goals and Values: Coaches will guide you in defining your individual goals and values and help you identify common ground. Establishing shared objectives is essential for creating a sense of purpose and unity within your marriage.

Emotional Connection: You’ll work on nurturing and strengthening the emotional connection between you and your partner. Marriage coaches can help you rediscover the qualities that brought you together and maintain that connection throughout your marriage.

Preventing Common Pitfalls: Coaches will educate you about common pitfalls and challenges that many couples face in marriage. Understanding these challenges in advance can prepare you to navigate them more effectively.

Preventing Future Issues: By addressing potential issues and concerns during coaching, you can take proactive steps to prevent them from becoming major problems in your marriage.

Enhanced Problem-Solving Skills: You’ll develop problem-solving skills that are vital for addressing the inevitable challenges and decisions that come with marriage, such as financial matters, family dynamics, and life goals.

Building Resilience: Marriage coaching teaches you how to build resilience as a couple, enabling you to weather difficult times together and emerge stronger.

Self-Reflection: Expect to engage in self-reflection exercises, encouraging you to better understand your own needs, desires, and contributions to the relationship.

Increased Confidence: Through coaching, you and your partner will gain confidence in your ability to handle the ups and downs of married life together.

Strengthened Commitment: Coaches may guide you in reaffirming your commitment to each other, helping you enter your marriage with a strong sense of dedication.

Ultimately, marriage coaching before your wedding is an investment in your future together. It provides you and your partner with the tools, knowledge, and skills to build a resilient and fulfilling marriage, setting the stage for a lifetime of love and partnership.

The value of marriage coaching varies from person to person and couple to couple, depending on their unique circumstances and goals. Whether marriage coaching is worth it is a subjective decision that depends on several factors:

Current Relationship Status: Marriage coaching can be particularly beneficial for couples facing challenges or feeling disconnected. If you’re experiencing conflicts, communication issues, or other difficulties in your relationship, marriage coaching can offer valuable insights and strategies to address these issues.

Preventative vs. Reactive: Some couples seek marriage coaching as a preventative measure to strengthen their relationship before issues arise. In this case, coaching can be seen as an investment in the future health of your marriage. On the other hand, if you’re seeking coaching in response to existing problems, it can be a way to proactively address and resolve those issues.

Commitment to Change: The effectiveness of marriage coaching often depends on the commitment of both partners to actively participate in the process. Willingness to work on communication, implement strategies, and make changes in the relationship can greatly impact the outcome.

Qualified Coach: The quality and qualifications of the marriage coach also play a significant role. A skilled and experienced coach can make a substantial difference in the coaching process’s effectiveness.

Personal Growth: Marriage coaching can also contribute to personal growth and self-awareness. It can help you understand yourself better and improve your ability to navigate relationships, which can be valuable even outside of the specific context of marriage.

Cost and Time Commitment: Consider the financial and time commitment required for marriage coaching. Ensure that it aligns with your budget and schedule.

Long-Term Goals: Reflect on your long-term goals and aspirations for your relationship. If you envision a lasting, healthy marriage, marriage coaching may be seen as a valuable investment in achieving those goals.

In summary, the worth of marriage coaching depends on your unique circumstances and objectives. It can be a valuable resource for couples looking to enhance their relationship, resolve conflicts, or build a solid foundation for a successful marriage. Ultimately, the decision should be based on your assessment of whether the potential benefits align with your goals and the specific challenges you’re facing in your relationship.

I’m Paul Parkin – A therapist and life coach. This is why you should work with me:

Paul Parkin Online CounsellorI have knowledge and understanding of attachment theory and how human beings think and behave, this makes me the perfect choice for the relationship coaching that is helpful for people about to make a committed relationship.

I help people identify any possible future problem areas within their relationship and then work to address these factors which can affect how we live with ourselves and with others. This will help you to have a happy and successful relationship.

What some of my recent clients have said about our work together.

Paul has supported me through one of the most difficult emotional periods of my life. I fell in love with another man and I was struggling to get through the situation and make decisions, I felt guilty and I felt confused. I wanted to be true to myself but kind and considerate in the way I handled it.

I’m at the beginning of a beautiful new chapter in my life with my husband. Our marriage is stronger than ever and Paul has helped me understand a lot about love, feelings, needs and relationships. I have been true to myself and I have inner peace beyond all expectation.

Paul has also supported me in my loss for the man I developed feelings for and explained that grieving is a process.

He has been amazing, professional and never judgmental of this very tough journey that caused me so much angst. Forever grateful Paul.

To anyone out there who needs someone to support them, get in touch with Paul, reach out and form a helping relationship. It’s the biggest gift you can give to yourself.

Judy. UK.
April 2020.

I contacted Paul during my first relationship crisis, a major event for me as a mature woman divorced for 10 years with two grown children. Despite my typically strong character, I found myself in a mess when I decided to open up to a relationship after a decade.

To cut a long story short, I discovered the man I was dating online, was spending time with another woman local to him while claiming to be with his daughters.

At my lowest point, thinking I was truly in love for the first time, I turned to Paul for help. I was deeply sad, confused, and my emotional turmoil was affecting my family, friends, and even my professional life.

Through careful listening and exploration, Paul helped me connect my current feelings to a past experience from nearly 40 years ago. This revelation was a game-changer. Paul provided me with techniques to address the pedestal I had placed this man on.

I immediately started working on his suggestions, and the transformation within me was astonishing. I gained a new awareness that ensures I won’t let this happen to me again and look forward to a future with someone who truly values me.

The positive change I experienced amazed my family and friends who had watched me struggle for months. I’m immensely grateful to Paul, who has been a lifesaver and a true genius.

Marisa. UK.
August 2014.

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