Happy Relationships © Martyn Carruthers & Kosjenka Muk
Do you want to manage your emotions and solve relationship conflicts?
We offer relationship coaching, marriage counseling and supervision.
Happy Ever After?
How did you learn about partnership? From books? (… the handsome prince met the beautiful princess and they lived happily ever after). Did you learn by watching your parents and relatives? Perhaps you learned about love from TV, movies or popular music?
Without effective counseling, many people repeat their bad habits, always wondering “Why me?” Yet good intentions for partnership or marriage so often become unpleasant entanglements, dysfunction, alienation and separation.
Although most people dream of sharing happiness in partnership, partners often get lost in enmeshments and damage their relationships. Our couple counseling helps people dissolve transferences, toxic bonds and fixations.
We often begin by exploring goals, complaints and values. We ask both partners, “Can you commit to your own happiness in this partnership?”
- If both answer “Yes“, we ask “How do you want to share love with your partner?“
- If one answers “No” or “Don’t know“, we help you Evaluate your Partnership.
Many couples who separate or divorce could be happy together. They could support each other’s goals, fulfill each others’ needs and and walk through life together. On the other hand, many people stay together in unhappy partnerships, even when they both want to separate.
We help people build relationship happiness that can have a lasting and profound effects – we help both partners change emotional conflicts into positive discussions, and the shape of a partnership that can fulfill both their desires.
If either partner assumes that the other should accurately guess their desires, then a partner’s poor guessing may seem to indicate a lack of love, and happy partnership may seem impossible.
If you forget your partner’s qualities, you may suffer limiting beliefs (e.g. “My partner is lonely, so I must stay home while my friends go out without me“).
We attended marriage counseling and I always felt beaten up … My husband asked
if the bad experiences of his early family could play a part in our marriage.
The counselor said NO! We were still fumbling with this six years later
… thanks for your enlightening sessions Texas
Desires, Wishes & Requests
Expressing wishes and goals helps show a readiness to fulfill a partner’s desires and goals. People who are committed to their partnerships or marriages will likely search for creative and interesting ways to fulfill their partners’ desires.
Some desires will not be fulfilled. Partners will have different priorities, commitments, beliefs, emotions, habits or finances. Although one may refuse to fulfill a wish, that refusal need not threaten the partnership – unless the wish is a non-negotiable requirement or demand about a central or core issue.
A requirement or demand may imply, “For our relationship to continue, you must …” For more on relationship demands see Evaluating Partnership.
Although no solution can satisfy every couple, we help most couples solve relationship problems. The relief of expressing desires and receiving a partner’s feedback is often followed by increased trust and intimacy. This surge of love can empower both partners to solve life challenges rather than to avoid them.
Partnership Coaching and Marriage Counseling
We help people solve whatever STOPS them solving their own problems. We help partners become each other’s best resource. We coach partners to coach each other. We assist existing partners to:
- find solutions for partnership problems
- evaluate unspoken messages to each other
- solve problems together as resourceful, caring adults
- communicate desires and requests fully and accurately
- manage emotional entanglements, trauma and toxic history
Getting Ready for Happiness
We can help you make space for happy partnership with individual coaching for both partners separately; followed by couple counseling together.
- Many relationship problems (e.g. unhealthy bonds to parents or past-partners) and guilt issues (e.g. family secrets and betrayals) can be resolved during preparatory individual coaching with both partners.
- Many existential issues that impact a partnership (e.g. parental relationship problems or emotional trauma) can be resolved during our individual work.
- If you or your partner doubts whether you want a committed, long-term partnership, see Evaluating Partnership and Partnership Breakdown.
You helped us discuss our values, resolve our conflicts and plan our goals.
You exposed us as real people instead of cardboard cutouts.
You helped us decide how to express and receive love.
Objections & Commitments
Clear commitments from both you and your partner is a resource for resolving issues – even heavy issues such as abandonment, abuse, betrayal and adultery.
The most common objections to commitment represent the lack of shared values, or the presence of unresolved bonds – often to a parent or a previous partner.
Do you doubt yourself as a partner? Do you prefer manipulation to cooperation? Do you lose yourself in trivial arguments or withdraw into depression or obsessions?
We can help you manage:
- miscommunications (e.g. arguments about responsibilities)
- objections (e.g. saying “Yes” while shaking your head “No”)
- transferences (you respond as if the other other were someone else)
- meaningless, confusing, negative, conflicting or abstract communication
Our couple counseling is complete when both partners can resourcefully discuss any desire, conflict or life challenge; and feel ready to handle future challenges.
Contact us to solve emotional problems and manage relationship issues