Why Do Couples Wait for Crisis to Seek Help?

Only about 10 percent of couples seek help in early stages of relationship problems.  This is true in general and also for the more than 1000 couples who have arrived at my couples’ therapy office in the past 30 years. The other 90 percent have been near a crisis in their relationship when they finally seek help. 

At the crisis point, the amount of disconnection, resentment and hurt is already extensive and it takes much longer to get back onto the path of connection and fulfillment.  

It’s very sad that there has been so much pain between them before they decide to seek guidance and skills that can help them to live a life of connection, peace and happiness.  

I do understand the obstacles, though.  In the busy lives that we are all living, it’s very difficult to find the time to leave work, drive in traffic, park the car, spend 1-2 hours in the counselor’s office.  Then there is the financial expense.  If we move past time and money, then we get to the “inside” piece, namely—fear, uncertainty, worry, embarrassment, stigma and more.  It is quite difficult and courageous to enter the office of a stranger (who may or may not be an expert at their profession) and then tell her or him about your personal relationship concerns.


Here’s the truth—if you take steps to reset your relationship when it’s only a little problematic, you can learn the tools and mindsets that will enable you to prevent a further disconnect. These steps will also turn the relationship around to a deeper level of happiness.

 If you wait until crisis, it takes longer and it is more difficult to change behaviors and ways of thinking that have existed for a long time.  

These two sets of ideas—the obstacles to getting help before things get to crisis proportions, and the fact that early intervention (when problems arise but are not yet severe) prevents much pain and enables couples to get back on track more easily. Combine the two to create a real dilemma.   There is a solution that is very new and outside the box.  Namely, online relationship help.  

About three or four years ago I became aware of some offers online for couples.  As the trend grew, I noticed that a typical offer was designed around, “This worked for my wife/husband and me, so buy my program.  It will fix your marriage.”  Those programs have minimal credibility because one person is telling/selling you what they and their partner did. There’s no real reason to think that’s a “proven process” because one couple did it.  

As a person who values scientifically proven approaches to anything that claims to be helpful, I wanted to find a program that was research-based, had proven processes, and was easy to navigate.  I also wanted to see if the program creator was available to their clients, and willing to provide personalized help.  Initially I wanted my clients to have alternatives to marital therapy if they moved away or lived far from my office.  

I found no programs to fit my criteria—comprehensive, proven effectiveness, developed by a person with legitimate credentials and experience, availability for personal connection with the founder for questions and/or coaching.  None fit these criteria.

 So, I decided to develop my own program.

Each component is research-based, created by a psychologist (me) who has worked effectively with over 1000 couples for 30 years. It has a proven process for transformation, is easy to navigate and has the option of intensive or occasional personal contact with the developer.

In addition, it is heart-based and is filled with the love and caring that is truly my orientation to working with couples. When I work with people, I mentally link arms with the couples and get to work achieving their dreams of a loving, peaceful, joyful and sustainable relationship.  

Be on the lookout for more information in the coming weeks!

Reflection: The “Secret Ingredient” to Being a Great Partner

What is that secret “something” that great partners do?  Reflection.

This means they think about their day, their interactions, their parenting, how loving they have been, and any number of other relevant topics.  In doing this reflection, they are able to learn from their experiences, both successes and failures, and then adjust, based on what they just learned.   Continue reading “Reflection: The “Secret Ingredient” to Being a Great Partner”

Power of Gratitude

The practice of gratitude as a tool for happiness has been in the mainstream for years. Long-term studies support gratitude’s effectiveness, suggesting that a positive, appreciative attitude contributes to greater success in relationships, work, greater health, peak performance in sports and business, a higher sense of well-being, and a faster rate of recovery from surgery. Continue reading “Power of Gratitude”

COMMITMENT to CHANGE – IT’S COMPLICATED!

When we identify something in our relationship that needs to change, it’s easy to say to yourself, “Yes, I will make that change”.  However, if you are like most of us, after the first few days of making the change, you tend to slip back into old patterns.  In fact, our brains are wired to make it likely that we’ll slip back, at least sometimes. Continue reading “COMMITMENT to CHANGE – IT’S COMPLICATED!”

BE NICE

To Improve your SEX Life BE NICE… Could it Really Be That Simple?

Many of the couples, over 1000 to be exact, I have worked with over the years report that their sex life is very far from ideal. Some couples haven’t made love in months or maybe they have very different ideas of what they would like their sexual life to look like.  They often report that their sex life has just gradually disappeared and they want it back.
Continue reading “BE NICE”