Thursday, December 01, 2022
Most of my life I've really sucked at relationships, in fact I've been divorced. Now you may be asking yourself, Why am I getting relationship advice from some dude who's been divorced? And that's a good question, but stick with me, and I'll explain
Most of my life, I really sucked at relationships.
In fact, some years ago, I went through a divorce.
Now you may be asking yourself, Why am I getting relationship advice from some dude who's been divorced? And that's a good question. But stick with me, and I'll explain.
I want to share a glimpse of my life near the end of my first marriage. So here goes...
I left our condo infuriated and drove to my parents house, after what was our last big fight well together, although I didn't know it at the time, not only was I really angry, but underneath that I was defeated, hopeless and sad.
Over the years, my ex wife and I became experts, and pushing each other's buttons, experts and twisting the knife so to speak.
When I would arrive at my parents house after our big spice, it was a refuge. But it also sparked feelings of failure and shame. I was in my early 30s at a time, and not only was my marriage falling into pieces, but I couldn't even afford a hotel room to grieve in private.
Lying in my childhood bedroom that night, it became clear to me that divorce was the best option. We were so misunderstood by each other, we kept hurting each other, and we didn't know how to fix it. I wondered how we got to this point, we'd started off so strong, we traveled well together, had similar interest, and had an amazing wedding full of dancing and joy.
But I also knew that by this time, I was emotionally checked out, I was done. For any relationship. This is not a good place to be.
Like many couples, we made some gestures towards saving the relationship. Among other things, we went to marriage counseling, and I'll share some of that experience in a sec. But suffice to say for now, the turmoil, confusion, and hurt I experienced is strongly motivated me to be a better partner in the future, and work actively on subsequent relationships. And it's also been the fuel to help other couples create the relationship that they want. In part, because of my relationship difficulties.
I chose to spend a great deal of effort, time and money in training to help people have healthy relationships, and cool side product in doing so I begin to understand how to develop harmony and ease in my own relationship.
And now I'm happily married. My wife Jessica and I have been together for over 10 years and married for six. And we have two young daughters.
But as I mentioned, my ex wife and I went to couples counseling, I want to share a little bit about that experience. And maybe you can relate maybe not.
So our first counselor did very little for us. In fact, I felt sorry for them because we were such a shit show. Pardon my French. And I think we actually scared them.
I remember in one session, my ex wife was very mad at me. And I didn't know how to respond. I looked at the counselor as if saying, I don't know what to do here. But the counselor had a scared look on their face too, as if looking back me and saying, "I don't know what to do either, Jason."
So unfortunately, that experience was not helpful. We were left with no tools, roadmap or even knowledge about how we were wired and what we needed. Almost a year later, went to our second counselor and this one was different. They knew what they were doing and had control of the sessions.
However, we would sporadically set up appointments and we weren't able to gain sufficient traction, we'd be good for a bit, and then we would regress. And our arguments got worse. This was the beginning of the end for me, as this was a time I was emotionally checking out of the marriage.
Then we divorced. A few months after our divorce, obviously, I was depressed, sad hurt, as I mentioned. And during this time I reached out to our last counselor, I asked them what they did to effectively work with couples. And I wanted to understand what went wrong as a means of healing from the divorce. And the counselor said, they were trained by this guy named Stan Tatkin who, as it happened, was offering another training the next month.
So I was like, Cool. I went to the training, even though I couldn't really afford it. And I started to read Stan's books and articles. And basically, I devoured everything to stand public. And I ended up training with him for two years.
I began to understand what went wrong in my first marriage.
Nevertheless, during the time when I would actually start healing from my relationship and training.
I had a supervisor suggest I get training by a guy named Terry Real, who also works with couples. This was crazy because I was already reading one of his books at the time.
Then I find myself I found myself doing another two years of training with Terry Real and his work has been an amazing addition to my previous training.
Nevertheless, the thing is, even after all this training, all this work with couples, I love doing it.
But I wish I didn't need to do all that stuff, to know how to have a healthy relationship. And personally, I got very little guidance on this from my parents or grandparents.
I also believe we have a cultural problem of not training individuals, men especially, how to have intimate, long term relationships.
Our culture seems to be infatuated with stories romances – infatuated with infatuation you can say.
But what about when the initial excitement wears off, and then that's where the work begins.
With that said, the crappy experiences and my divorce has ultimately been a blessing, leading to a deeper understanding of what makes a healthy relationship work.
And my own mixed experiences as someone in need of couples counseling and participating in it has motivated me to work with couples.
Now in the context of coaching.
That is, we're going to commit to a specific amount of time working together. So it's not sporadic, normally two months, and let's identify both of your goals. So they're specific, and let's work towards them.