John and Donna (not real names) called me after hearing me co-host a weekly radio show in Cleveland, Ohio called "Relationship Thursdays." When they came to see me, they had filed for divorce - their court date was 4 months away. The John had been a workaholic and distant from his wife for two years. Having lived like roommates with little meaningful communication and rare moments of sexual intimacy, they were ready to call it quits. Coming to see me was their last ditch effort at saving their marriage. I told them what I always tell couples before they take steps to end the relationship, "Before you get divorced, make sure you are able put your head on your pillow each night with the peace of mind that you have exhausted all resources, and have done everything humanly possible to save your marriage." I also told them that the couples who succeed at working with me in coaching are the ones who stick their arms in the tool bag and use the 25 tools I provide for them.
After two years of not knowing what the other person was really thinking, they each had a fair amount of trust issues. They embraced one of the first tools I gave them, the trust inventory, and they ran with it. After teaching them how to build an operating system for communicating, they used the skills they learned, to break open and talk about each item they listed on their trust inventories. They worked their tails off! Half way through the 3-month coaching process, they cancelled their divorce proceeding. It is December 18, 2009 and I just received a Christmas card from Donna and John, on the cover of which is their 2-month old daughter and a note saying, "You are the best thing to happen to our relationship! We went to you as our last hope before ending our marriage. You not only guided us through this terrible time, but helped us become stronger as a couple and as individuals."