After dealing with thousands of people and their relationships, it became very obvious to me that the people who are looking for relationship help usually seek it after they have exhausted all the knowledge and tricks they themselves had up their sleeve. By the time they start looking for relationship help, it is often, if not too late, then at least more difficult to get the relationship help that would work than if they had started looking at the first signs of trouble.
So, what are the sources that people look for when they need relationship help? As I mentioned above, they first try to do whatever they think would work. Unfortunately, solutions to a problem cannot be found in the mind of the person who created the problem in the first place, to paraphrase Albert Einstein. Relationship help almost always must come from the outside. At this point it must be said that not all that is intended to be “relationship help” is actually helpful. The rule of the thumb is that the closer the person is to the troubled participants in a relationship, the less meaningful help they can offer. Our logic will tell us that the “closer the person is to me, like friends and family, the more they care about me and the better advice they will give me.” Not so. Relationship help may easily turn to relationship hell when all the emotions of the people who care about you converge with your own. Relationship help can come only from an unattached individual who has no stake in the relationship one way or another.
Relationship help is best provided by people who can see the situation clearly and who are neutral so that they can read between the lines and uncover the blind spots, thus creating a different context from which a different point of view of the situation can emerge. Relationship help is also best provided by professionals in the field and often by older, wise people. The range of professionals who offer relationship help is vast. It ranges from social workers, doctors, psychologists, psychiatrists, counselors and coaches. Which one is best for you depends what state you are in. If you suffer from severe depression or a mental disorder, then doctors, psychologists and even psychiatrists may be for you. If you have a relatively small problem and you are mentally healthy, then a social worker or a coach may be your answer. Also, it is a good idea to consult a social worker first if you suspect a mental disorder. From the feedback I receive, relationship help does not seem to be very fruitful if it comes from marriage counselors. This is not about counselors; the system is set up that way. It seems to be outdated for most situations. It presumes that both partners want to get relationship help when, in fact, many couples go to counselors together just because one partner wants help with their relationship but other is resisting it. In other words, one person wants to stay in and other one wants out.
I find, that at this stage a good coach often recognizes that the only person who can make a difference in a relationship is the one who wants to keep it, the one who seeks help. Therefore, why bother with a destructive party at all. Focus on and give relationship help to a person who is committed to the relationship, the premise here being that a) people REACT to each other and b) no one can change anyone else without their consent.
So, if you want to keep the relationship, you first need to see your relationship in another context by having insights about what your part was in the relationship breakdown. Once you see that, the point of view about your relationship changes and your behavior consequently changes. When your behavior changes, your partner will react to THAT changed behavior and, voila, things turn around and a new relationship is created. Therefore, if you think you may need help with your relationship do not waste time trying to fix it yourself because if you knew how, your relationship would not be where it is now.
I suggest you check out The Relationship Saver first (http://www.RelationshipSaver.org/) . It may be just all you need to get help with your relationship. In case your relationship is “just fine, thank you”, you still may want to read The Gameless Relationship (http://www.GamelessRelationship.com/) if you want to have an awesome one
The Relationship Saver