This is a question I have given a great deal of thought too. Why is it that the minute someone hears a strange noise coming from their engine they immediately take their car into the mechanics for an expert opinion but their relationships can run itself into the ground for years and they will resist or outright refuse to seek outside help. Or they will hire a professional accountant to make sure their taxation relationship with the government is operating at peek performance but they would never consider hiring a coach to make sure their personal relationship is optimal and ideal.
I ponder this over and over again to understand where the resistance is coming from. If it is true that we gain over 80% of total happiness from our personal love relationships why is it that we are not doing everything in our power to ensure our relationships and marriages are beyond successful. It sort of reminds me of the paradox that most people value their children beyond anything else in the world and yet they always pay so little for babysitting compared to what they pay to moor their boats, or reno their houses etc etc.
I have come up with many theories non or all of which may be true for some or no one....
Is it because if you seek outside help you have to admit there is something wrong with the way you are relating to each other. Well guess what folks - it is no secret to everyone else in your lives. It is a bit of the case of the "Emperor wears no clothes" no one wants to tell you that your relationship needs help but rest assured they are thinking it.
Is it because if you seek coaching you will have to inevitable make changes in your life and you know how difficult it is to do that. Well yes - it is inevitable that change will occur but wouldn't you rather be responsible for the cause of such change instead of having to experience the effect of changes beyond your control? Working with a therapist or relationship coach is going to strengthen your chances of being able to make the necessary changes in your life to create a healthy vibrant relationship. Change will come regardless, why not be the director of your own movie?
Is it because you consider yourself a very private person and you do not wish to address your personal problems with anyone else other than your spouse? Well guess what - wait till you experience divorce court or having to sort through mediation about the children after your relationship has dissolved - not very private at all! If you refuse to work on your stuff inside your relationship you will be forced to work on it outside of it.
Is it because you believe it is just a stage your relationship is in and it will improve over time. Well there is some wisdom in this theory I suppose because yes eventually things will change. But I am constantly amazed at how long people will endure being miserable,not having their needs met, going years without intimacy or worse enduring endless bickering or abuse in hope that things will improve. How are things meant to improve if you don't do anything differently? Life doesn't happen to people - people make life happen!
Is it because you are certain you know where things are going wrong and how to fix them? There is no doubt in my mind that this statement is true. Relationship coaches are not here to tell you how to live or how to love. They merely help you clarify your vision, focus on the best possible outcome, create and action plan and help you be accountable to yourself. We often are intimately aware of our own challenges in life and the solutions to those challenges and yet we still remain immobilized. Relationship coaches help you turn your knowledge into practice.
Is it because you can get all the info you need from self help books and the internet? Well knowledge is very important but it is not what makes for happy relationships. A person can read every self help book on love and relationship there is but without the self discipline and communication skills to implement the knowledge into practice you can still be dead in the water so to speak.
Is it because you can't afford it? Well my question to you is can you afford not to? If you think things are tight living together as a couple it certainly isn't any cheaper to support separate households, pay for childcare, divorce and maintenance among hundreds of other new expenses you can't even begin to imagine if your relationship fails.
Is it that you don't want to hurt your partners feelings by suggesting you get outside help? Ask yourself this...will you end up hurting your partner's feelings a heck of a lot more by not getting help to get your needs met. Chances are you will. Times have changed, it is now considered emotionally mature to gain guidance - its cool promise ! And more importantly the process can be exciting, rewarding and a great deal of fun ( pssst you may even begin to have sex again lol !)
Is it because you have tried counseling before and it got you nowhere? Well kudos for giving it a go but if a mechanic was unable to diagnose what was wrong with your Merc would you take it to the wreckers or would you seek out a second or third opinion? Finding someone you feel comfortable sharing what is going on with you is a very personal choice and you may have to try a few different modalities before you find the right fit.
Is it because you just can't be asked to do the work? Ouch! Well then don't complain to yourself or anyone else that your relationship sucks. Or better yet I love the one - its not my issue its my partner's - they need to get help not me. Well I have some news for you if you are in the relationship it is as much your problem as your partners - if you are stuck in this mode of thinking well - all I can say is I hope your partner has the strength to leave!
So what are you waiting for? Regardless of what stage of relationship you are in, single, pre committed, pre marital, Committed you can work with a coach to improve your chances of creating a truly ideal, blissful happy union.