Who wants their best marriage? When I first starting asking that question at presentations, I was puzzled that nobody raised their hand. Then it hit me. NOBODY WANTS TO ADMIT IN PUBLIC THAT THEY DO NOT HAVE A PERFECT RELATIONSHIP. (Those couples who have assured me they have a perfect relationship , do not have the same definition as I do about what "PERFECT" really means.) Actually I teach that (quoting myself here). "Perfection only exists until someone comes along who can see the mistakes you make or can do it better."
Any couple who has the desire CAN improve their relationship---overnight even.
After over three decades of working as a licensed mental health/wellness and emotional intelligence expert, I believe that we value our marriages. Although, most of us have room for improvement, not everyone chooses to work and nurture their relationships–proactively before trouble strikes. I see times have changed dramatically from 20 years ago.
Now “even” men care about their relationships—a “winking,” anecdotal impression reinforced by the major shift in “who” calls to make an initial appointment with me. While twenty years ago, it was nearly always the woman/wife/girlfriend/mother who made that first call, now it seems upward of 60% of those first appointment scheduling calls are made by men; and they are calling in at younger ages and marriage stages than historically true. With this sign of change, I am genuinely optimistic that the numbers of satisfying, healthy marriages will continue to grow and the divorce rate will plummet– for motivated partners.
During my decades a a Licensed Marital and Family Therapist (LMFT), I have steadily jotted notes to record what I learned in sessions with clients. I identified my metaphors, directness, everyday talk, and her humor (often offbeat) which were successful ways to guide clients toward change options for their thinking and behavior to build better relationships. Clients accepted hard truths about themselves more readily when heard through my warm and friendly “delivery.” Clients embraced and valued my succinct bits of “life philosophy.”Eventually, I wove a portion of extensive notes into compositely true couple stories with insight and wisdom.
Through the years, clients have jokingly “invited” me home with them to be present to consult when “sticky situations” arose or alternately suggested that I be a “bug” in their ears to whisper steady words of wisdom during marital conflicts. Others have simply asked, “Why don’t you write a book?” Of those three “options”, I decided I could expand the reach of my insight and support more broadly by writing my first book and now more.
The Marriage Whisperer: Tips to Improve Your Relationship Overnight is “the book.” My second book, Awesome Couple Communication is a spin-off with new information and a graphic tool, Pickett's Pyramid of Possibilities that uses Emotional Intelligence as a guide to resolving differences. Watch for my additional books which will surprise and inspire you with new ways to look at life.