Couple’s Educator?

I came across this article on the Huffington Post discussing how women remarry less often than men, and I have to say, it broke my heart. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/nina-collins/why-remarry_b_835218.html   To summarize, the author, Nina Collins, shares her thoughts and feelings on how marriage is for 20 and 30 something’s with lots of energy, because men, and relationships, require too much energy and care for 40-something’s who have been through a divorce.

This is heartbreaking to me!

As a couple’s counselor, and a wife of almost 8 years, I am very aware of the difficulties and struggles of long-term relationships. Relationships can be hard and they certainly do take work.   But, to reach the point where you’d rather not be in a relationship at all because the negatives outweigh the positives sounds devastating to me. 

I can’t help but wonder is this a reflection on relationships, or our knowledge and know-how of relationships?

Statistically, second, third, fourth (and so on) marriages end in even higher divorce rates the larger the marriage number gets. Yet, studies have shown over and over again, that as humans we age more gracefully and live longer and healthier when we have relationships in our lives, and that our happiness levels do not increase with divorce.

Why is this?

I believe this is because we are not educated on the how-to’s of romantic relationships like we are in so many other areas of our life.  Think about the areas you are most successful in: work, sports, hobbies, organizational skills, cooking, reading, politics?  Now estimate how much time you invest in these activities each day, and how many years you’ve spent investing in them.  You’ve probably put 10,000’s of hours into developing, researching, and learning about your professional life, how many hours have you spent developing, researching, and/or learning about your relationship? There is so much information out there that can help make relationships easier, more successful, and more enjoyable.  It’s up to each of us to seek it out, and to educate ourselves on the how-to’s of relationships.

Why Couple’s Educator?

It’s funny, my title is Marriage & Family Therapist, and most people call me a counselor, but really what I do is educate couples on relationships. I help couples to look at the ideas, beliefs, expectations that they came into the relationship with, and then sort out what really happens in a relationship, what a long term relationship really looks like, and how they can create a happy, fulfilling, secure, drama-free relationship by letting go of the expectations they came into the relationship with and creating their own expectations, definitions, and system. So really, I guess my title should be Couple’s Educator {wink}. This distinction is so important!  The couples I work with who view (or learn to view) what we do together as a learning tool vs. fixing the relationship, or the other person, are the ones who see huge success.   Not only do these couples (and individuals) learn to interact with each other in a more productive way but they also learn problem-solving skills, so things don’t boil up to the exploding point in the future. Maybe a little relationship understanding and know-how is all your relationship needs?