YES, want to stay and work through issues: Get started on some new ways to understand each other. Choose ONE of the following exercises and bring your responses to your first session:
1. Each of you, without consulting the other or discussing your responses, answer the following questions in writing.
What’s good about our relationship? What’s not-so-good about it?
Describe three ways you want your relationship to change. What are you willing to do to make that happen?
2. Buy two copies of The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work (Gottman, J. 2015), a book based on Dr. John Gottman’s 25 years of research on couples. Read the first three chapters.
3. Take the free Love Languages survey.
4. Watch Dr. Sue Johnson explain why love and monogamous relationships are important for health and survival.
NO, do not want to stay: Let’s find a way for the two of you to work toward closure and transition to a different kind of relating, something like friends or respectful enemies, especially if you have children.
Most couples come into couple therapy hoping to get out of the stuck place they’re in. One or both partners may want to end the relationship. Or one has more hope than the other about learning how to be happier. Sometimes both people blame the other for their difficulties and want the other person to change. Whatever the reason, you want to know that the therapist genuinely cares about both of you and that the therapist does not have an agenda for your relationship. Therapy can be goal-oriented and short-term or ongoing depending on your needs.
Plan to commit to 10 weekly meetings.