A DIFFERENT WAY TO THINK ABOUT A RELATIONSHIP-- A NEW PERSPECTIVE: Having participated in doing observational research with couples at the university level for 3 years, I discovered that spouses and partners CREATE a relationship together, as opposed to being IN a relationship. The notion of being IN a relationship is often suggestive of not having control of it. On the other hand, knowing and understanding that relationships are CREATED by two people, one interaction at a time, permits spouses/partners to feel a sense of control over the relationship by changing how and what they contribute to the interactions they have with each other. Using this approach, many couples discover that it is not their partner, but the relationship they have with their partner, that is making them unhappy. Getting couples to focus on changing their relationship instead of each other very often results in a desire to change oneself for the good of the relationship. That perspective gets couples "UNSTUCK", and enables them to solve problems together and to become happier and more emotionally connected. Though improved communication helps the relationship improve, improved communication is also a side-effect of having improved the relationship. Put another way: when you communicate better, and if you feel valued, appreciated, and cared for by your spouse/partner, you like your spouse/partner more. And when you like your spouse/partner more, you communicate better and value and appreciate your spouse/partner more.
Along with my 41 year marriage and family life experience (6 children and 22 grandchildren), my later life education and training (1995 thru 2002) has significantly influenced my enjoyment of and effectiveness in helping couples experience real and lasting change for the better in their marriages and relationships. I believe that many marriages end in divorce that could be rescued. Of the spouses who divorce, many do so because they have attempted many times to "fix" things themselves, have failed, and have then become increasingly hopeless about change for the better. So divorce is their default choice. Though I readily acknowledge that there are compelling reasons to end a marriage/relationship, deciding what is compelling is a process that each couple must engage and experience, and the responsibility fo the decision to stay together or not belongs to each couple. If you are having difficulty deciding if you want to or should stay married/together, I would appreciate the opportunity to help you identify and explore the sources of your indecisiveness.