Behind-the-Scenes: How One Couple Turned Their Relationship Around After Feeling Like The Only Answer Was Divorce

Karin and Joe had been together for 8 years.

They had had gradually become disconnected from each other and  didn’t talk about important things because they ended up fighting when they tried to talk about issues. 

Eventually, they found themselves with many unspoken disagreements which resulted in them holding oceans of resentment toward one another.

They each had thought about ending the relationship, but they loved each other and didn’t want to split up. 

Neither Karin nor Joe believed that relationship coaching was going to help them, but they decided to try it, because they were committed to each other and at the same time, very unhappy.

Today I want to share with you 3 distinct ways our mindset/the way we think affects our relationships, both positively and negatively.

If you’ve ever found yourself with any of the thoughts below, this article is for you. 

  • This is just the way marriage is.  It’s useless to try to change it.

  • If we really loved each other, we wouldn’t have problems.

  • We’ve tried to talk about things but it didn’t go well.  It’s hopeless to try to change.

  • I’m just a terrible wife/husband/partner.

  • I married the wrong person.

  • That’s just the way he/she is or I am.

  • We shouldn’t need another person to help us. We should be able to fix this alone.

  • We tried getting help once and it didn’t work—it’s not a good idea.

Karin and Joe’s Transformation

When Karin, Joe, and I started working together, our first step was creating a shared vision for their relationship. This is the same first step I take any client through when we first start. Karin and Joe were relieved to realize that they still wanted the same things for their relationship, which gave them comfort and hope.

Then we embarked on mindset work, and that’s where we discovered the root of their problems…

Yes, their communication was flawed and their ability to resolve disagreements without anger was poor.

But the real problems arose as the result of the skeptical, negative and destructive mindsets they both held about their relationship.

Whenever they had attempted to grow and change their relationship, in the past, they each found themselves having the thoughts mentioned above.

Their mindsets assured that nothing that they had tried would be successful in changing their dynamics. This is very common for couples facing relationship challenges. 

So, before we could work on communication, resolve conflicts with compassion and respect, create emotional and physical connection, and any of the higher attributes of a loving union, we had to tackle their mindsets.

To do this, they first had to become aware of their thoughts. Then, that opened them up to look at the mindsets behind those thoughts. What was the operating system making them think they way they did. 

From there, they figured out whether these thoughts were helping or sabotaging their relationship. And, very importantly, whether they could make progress as a couple  (which they wanted to do) while holding onto those thoughts. 

Ultimately, Karin and Joe were able to transform their partnership from conflict and misunderstanding to connection and respect.

They opened the door to new possibilities and to achieving the changes they wanted. By removing the mindset obstacles, they were free to take powerful steps toward their ideal relationship together.

Now it’s your turn:

What thoughts do you carry about your relationship? Are they helping or holding you and your partner back? 

What small shift in thinking can you make to move to a more connected, loving couple today?Want to get updates on future relationship posts? Please visit http://caroljhenry.com/pages/ or https://www.theexceptionalcouplesacademy.com/

I have a limited number of openings for Private Relationship Coaching clients. Would you like to consider this for you and your partner? If so, you can contact me in these ways:

Email: carol.j.henryphd@gmail.com Message: Facebook message https://www.facebook.com/carol.henry.792197/

Book a free Discovery Call (45 Minutes) https://calendly.com/carol-j-henryphd/discovery

For access to more teachings and trainings and to be in a community of committed couples who support growth, please consider joining my free Facebook Group. Committed Couples Growing Together. https://www.facebook.com/groups/CommittedCouplesGrowingTogether

Did You Marry the Wrong Person?

I was divorced by the time I turned 30.

But not because we didn’t love each other.

We had loads of fun together and really cared about one another. But, what it came down to was, I had no clue how to be a great partner.

When I was 11, my family was in a horrific boating accident. My grandmother was killed on impact and my brother was hospitalized. We never spoke about it, ever. From that experience and others, in my childhood I learned that “we don’t talk about negative things” and when I got married I brought that thinking into my relationship.

Not once did I share my concerns or “negative” feelings with my partner. Which means, we never had the chance to work through them together. Eventually, I started to believe we just weren’t meant for each other anymore and we went our separate ways. 

Do you ever find yourself thinking, “I’m not happy but this is just how marriage is.” ?

Do you and your partner have challenges but worry that there’s no way to fix them?

Have you ever wondered if you married the wrong person?

No one tells us how to be in a relationship. Especially if you grew with parents who didn’t know how to talk about things.

It wasn’t until I got my PhD & started working with couples that I realized relationships are more than living under the same roof or a marriage certificate. 

Relationships are more like learning to drive a car.

At first, you’re incredibly excited! You can hardly wait to get behind the wheel and hit the open road. 

But then, you quickly realize there are much bigger lessons you need to learn in order to avoid pitfalls (and potholes) and be safe and responsible.

Relationships are the same way. We start out smitten over our person and feel like there’s no better fit than them. Then, what happens?

A few months, a few years go by and the person we once felt so loved by and loving toward has changed. We still love them, but we find ourselves more irritable and resentful than in the past. We don’t feel as connected to them as we want. And eventually, we start to wonder if we picked the wrong person.

This is where I want you to pause.

You have only 1 of 3 choices you can make at this point in your relationship:

  1. Do absolutely nothing. Everything will stay the same until it gets worse. This is your default option, if you choose not to follow one of the other two.
  2. Get divorced. This is permanent and not always the right decision depending on the couple. (I wholeheartedly believe that if I had known there was a 3rd option, I’d still be married today.)
  3. Change your relationship and get back to the loving, fun, and connected partnership you once had.

At this point, I’m crossing my fingers you choose option #3. It’s the best one, and here’s where to start…

If I had known back then what I know now after working with hundreds of couples, I would have never asked “did I marry the right person”. 

Instead, I would have inquired “How can I be a better partner?”

This question puts YOU in the driver’s seat and gives you the power to change the dynamic between you two within DAYS. Sometimes within moments.

For me, it would have looked like sharing my worries and concerns with my husband and working through and shifting the mindset I learned as a kid. I’d have discovered that by bottling up my feelings I was actually pushing away the man I loved.

For you, the answer could be completely different depending on what’s going on for two.

When I work with clients, I help them learn how to communicate better, resolve disagreements, and reconnect. 

Book a call with me if you’d like my personal support to help get you and your partner back connected again.

So to close out and leave you with something positive…

If you’ve ever wondered if you married the wrong person, this week I encourage you to try on a new perspective of “how can I be a better partner?

With so much love, 

Carol

PS:  Over the past 30 years I’ve been working with couples around their romance, communication and growing together. 

 And questions and concerns like these come up too often to count.  

I’ve developed a very simple process of taking couples from disconnected to deeply connected and turn their relationship challenges into incredible opportunities and strengths. 

If you would love to find out how I can help you and your partner grow together, book a time in my calendar now for a  free Relationship Breakthrough coaching session. 

We’ll discuss:

where your relationship is now,

where you want it to be,

and some steps to get there.

(This call is valued at $250, but I’m offering it free of charge)

Book your session now at https ://calendly.com/carol-j-henryphd/discovery

I have a limited number of openings for Private Relationship Coaching clients.  Would you like to consider this for you and your partner? 

If so, you can contact me in these ways:

Email—carol.j.henryphd@gmail.com

Message:  Facebook message https://www.facebook.com/carol.henry.792197/

For access to more teachings and trainings and to be in a community of committed couples who support growth, please consider joining my free Facebook Group.

Committed Couples Growing Together. 

https://www.facebook.com/groups/CommittedCouplesGrowingTogether



Is Your Romance a Distant Memory? Here’s 3 Ways to Get it Back.

When I first started my journey as a psychologist I was assisting in a study of 4-week old infants. 

 They were shown a toy and they sucked vigorously on a pacifier for about 15-20 seconds.  Then the sucking slowed down and stopped. 

The infants were no longer interested in that toy.  

Then they were shown a new toy and they sucked rapidly then slowed down and stopped again.

What we found was they needed new experiences to continue being interested.  They wanted something new.

Like a 4-month old, our relationships are the same way.  

Over time, if we’re constantly with the same person, doing the same thing with nothing new to look at or play with, we get bored.  

Our relationship gets stagnant and we start to wonder, what’s wrong with our relationship when, in fact, nothing is wrong.  You’re just looking for a new stimulus.  

And so today I want to share with you 3 ways to reignite your romance and get those new experiences going.

Way #1.  The first thing I want to teach you is how to turn mundane things into moments of connection. 

Do you remember how fascinated you were with your partner when you were first dating?  And even when you were first married?  

In those times, even chores were romantic and often ended in the bedroom. 

How can you re-capture those times?  

What if you “bumped into each other” while washing and drying the dishes.  

What if you both were wearing aprons and not much else?  

What if  you played music and danced in the kitchen?  

Have you ever thought of cleaning the bathroom then showering together?

Way #2  Date night.  Everyone talks about date night, and that’s because it’s so important to have fun and interesting experiences together as well as tending to your relationship.  

Let’s put a new twist on date night. We’re all about new twists, right?

 Instead of dinner and a movie, explore one of these questions during date night.

  • Question !:  Where do you want us to be 10 years from tonight?
  • Question 2:  Think about your obituary at the end of your life.  What do you want your life to have been about, so that you would be proud and satisfied with what was reflected in your obituary.   

On this kind of date night, it’s less about what you do.  It’s about the questions you ask each other that lead to deep understanding and connection.

Way #3  In the bedroom (or the kitchen, or the study…)

Here are 5 ways to mix it up that you could try. 

Notice that they’re covering each of the senses.  

Try one thing at a time.  Then, next time, try another, and so on.  

  • For hearing, put on some music that you love
  • For seeing, put on different sleepwear (or none?) plus a candle
  • For  smell, use the candle, different body wash or shampoo
  • For taste—some lotion with taste or feed each other some food or a drink
  • For touch—touch your partner with different objects, such as a feather, ice cube. 

Bonus idea– Explore different positions, locations for love making.

To wrap this up…

I would love to hear from you, What did you find valuable in today’s blog about how to rev up your romance with your partner?

Let me know what’s one thing you’re going to try out this week, ok?

With love,

Carol

PS:  Over the past 30 years I’ve been working with couples around their romance, communication and growing together. 

 And questions and concerns like these come up too often to count.  

I’ve developed a very simple process of taking couples from disconnected to deeply connected and turn their relationship challenges into incredible opportunities and strengths. 

If you would love to find out how I can help you and your partner grow together, book a time in my calendar now for a  free Relationship Breakthrough coaching session. 

We’ll discuss:

where your relationship is now,

where you want it to be,

and some steps to get there.

(This call is valued at $250, but I’m offering it free of charge)

Book your session now at https ://calendly.com/carol-j-henryphd/discovery

With love,

Carol

I have a limited number of openings for Private Relationship Coaching clients.  Would you like to consider this for you and your partner? 

If so, you can contact me in these ways:

Email—carol.j.henryphd@gmail.com

Message:  Facebook message https://www.facebook.com/carol.henry.792197/

For access to more teachings and trainings and to be in a community of committed couples who support growth, please consider joining my free Facebook Group.

Committed Couples Growing Together. 

https://www.facebook.com/groups/CommittedCouplesGrowingTogether



Inject Fun Into Your Relationship with Trick AND Treat this Halloween

What is it that makes some couples seem so happy?

They can be seen talking and laughing when others are silent and seem disconnected. What’s going on?

One characteristic of these happy couples is that they haven’t lost their sense of adventure.

I’m not talking about extreme sports. What I mean is that they continue to try new things—whether it’s a new restaurant, a class that they take together, a hobby that they share or a sport that they both play or both watch.

There’s joy in the variety and especially, the togetherness, learning and enjoying together.

The couple that is playful, thoughtful and fun has a happy relationship.

Fun and playfulness tend to gradually disappear in relationships, all too often. And that’s sad because fun provides connection and shared stories, in ways that daily activities just don’t do.

We’re all so much busier than we thought possible.

Work expectations seem to be increasing, exponentially.

Covid has added a layer of stress and responsibilities that has almost everyone more stressed.

Pair that stress with the added responsibilities of children trying to learn online, taking care of a house and possibility caring for an ill parent, exercising to stay healthy, and all your time seems to be taken up.

Little time or energy remains for nurturing your relationship.

Does this sound familiar?

We can get into ruts and have a hard time seeing a way out.

Why did I choose Halloween as the holiday to highlight for fun? Because there is no obligation to cook a huge meal for many people, there aren’t family expectations like some other holidays, and no special church service to attend (online).

So, the time can be spent just the way you want it to be spent.

Halloween conjures up playfulness, costumes, and trick or treating (or a substitute for trick or treating during Covid).

If you have children, there will likely be the fun of helping them in their (virtual?) trick or treating.

If you do take children trick or treating, you can either plan your special time after they’re in bed or on a day close to Halloween.

Another possibility could be that you have your own trick and treat fun as a couple. Notice the “and” in trick and treating.

What could be a trick and treat?

I think of a surprise as a “trick”

Maybe you tell your partner that there’s only left-overs for dinner (the trick). Instead, you cook the partner’s favorite meal (the treat) and have candles (orange or black would be great).

Or say you’re going to get take out from one restaurant (the trick), and really get it from their favorite one (the treat).

Or dress up in a crazy or sexy outfit (the trick) and eat your dinner in bed followed by love making (the treat).

Or carve a pumpkin that greets your partner when he or she arrives home (trick and treat combined).

Or a treat can be a gift—an actual gift, or an act of service. Maybe a new board game.  Or a puzzle.  Or an invitation to take a day-long road trip or boat ride with social distancing, of course.

The main point is that Halloween is a time when fun and playfulness can be brought into your relationship. If Halloween night doesn’t work because of schedules or other factors, plan it a different night, but plan it.

It’s so very important that we invite fun and playfulness into our relationships, regularly.

They spark closeness and intimacy, both emotional closeness and physical closeness.

When we do, we are communicating that our partner is worth spending time with and that she or he is a source of fun.

Knowing that you two can play together is one of the elements that sustains a relationship and keeps it happy, loving and juicy.

Isn’t that what you want?!

I would love to hear how it went.

With love,
Carol

PS: This week, try this. Plan a Trick and Treat for you and your partner. Post about what you planned.

I can’t wait to hear!

Are You and Your Partner Disconnected and Struggling?

I’m Dr. Carol Henry and I’m a relationship coach and online couples’ teacher.  I have helped hundreds of couples grow their relationship from being a struggling and disconnected duo to living the relationship of their dreams.

That isn’t how my relationship was some years ago, though.  I got married in my 20s and thought I was with the man of my dreams.  At first, we had a lot of fun together and enjoyed the life that we were building.  Gradually though, things turned darker. 

I had many unspoken dissatisfactions and expectations, hurt feelings and grievances.  But they remained unspoken.  I know he had some too.  Neither of us had any idea about what to do about the difficulties that we were having. 

We didn’t understand that we should be discussing all these things with each other as well as talking about our dreams and hopes.  No one had modeled or taught us that if there are problems, talk about them and work them out.  And we weren’t able to figure it out by ourselves.

Instead, we got divorced after 4 ½ years.  We were both sad and quite mystified about how this happened.  We were at rock bottom.  But we were still clueless as to why, I’m sorry to report. 

I’m writing this to prevent you from making those same mistakes that I made in my first marriage..  I don’t want you to have the pain and sadness that I felt.  And the lack of self-awareness. We didn’t have a vision about where we wanted to be headed, so we didn’t plan how to get there.

I was planning to get my PhD, which I did.  In my studies, I learned all that I could about love relationships so that I could help people create relationships that were filled with love, compassion and respect. To build a relationship in which each partner is able to flourish and be their best selves. 

Our obstacles. Part of learning to create a great relationship is overcoming some obstacles.  Our mindsets (our habits of thinking) need to be examined.  If you, like me in my first marriage, have a mindset that you can’t address a problem in a relationship by talking about it, then you’re going to have trouble.

If you don’t have a shared vision for your lives together, you won’t have a pathway to get there, since you don’t have a clear idea of where “there” is.

If you don’t have communication skills and techniques in your relationship toolbox, then trouble is ahead.

If you don’t have a mentor coach who you can call when you get stuck, then you stay stuck doing the same old thing that didn’t serve you well, before.  

Options.  I’ve helped many hundreds of couples grow their relationships so that they can be described as exceptional. And that’s what I’ve done for the past 30+ years.

 And I also was married to my second husband for 25 years (my husband passed away after that) and built a wonderful family of two children, each with amazing spouses,  and now, 4 grandchildren with another on the way. We love each other deeply and get together as often as possible. 

I’m so glad that I learned to be the spouse I wanted to be, and the model for my children about how to love and respect each other and to be that kind of partner in their marriages.

And now, I’ve started an online business called Exceptional Couples Academy, to take this knowledge and vast experience to more and more couples, so that they can build the relationships of their dreams.  It’s my purpose and I’m thrilled to have this opportunity.

The very first program I’m offering is private relationship coaching, which I call, The Pathway to Your Exceptional Relationship.  This initial offering takes you from where you are now, to the relationship of your dreams.  You’ll be getting private time with me, with my 30+ years of experience, to link arms with you and teach you to steps to take and the skills to learn so that you achieve your dream relationship and know how to sustain it over the years.  Plus the bonus of my brand new course, “The Communication School, How to talk with your partner about anything and everything and grow closer because of it”.  You will end up mastering communication so that you can use that expertise throughout your lives.

If you would like to explore with me what your next steps with me in a FREE phone conversation, please schedule a time with me by clicking this link: https://calendly.com/carol-j-henryphd/discovery

So that you know, there are no obligations.  I would love to help you sort out your situation and your next best steps to grow your relationship.

With love,

Carol


I have a limited number of openings for Private Relationship Coaching clients.  Would you like to consider this for you and your partner? 

If so, you can contact me in these ways:

Email—carol.j.henryphd@gmail.com

Message:  Facebook message https://www.facebook.com/carol.henry.792197/

For access to more teachings and trainings and to be in a community of committed couples who support growth, please consider joining my free Facebook Group.

Committed Couples Growing Together. 

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