3. Lack of Knowledge about Intimate Relationships
Reading even a couple of chapters of a book or studying a few websites on relationships, watching a couple of videos on You Tube can make a startling difference in the quality of your friendship, your intimacy (sexual, mental and emotional), your home life and your parenting. Dozens of sources have good information on gender difference, communication, love languages, sex, family traditions and personality styles. If you haven’t found my You Tube channel, you can go to: youtube.com/heathercarlile. I created 33 different subjects to help people with their intimate relationships and their home life.
But, my opinion is that seeing a marriage or relationship counselor is a fast-forward. When I can work privately with a couple, I can determine which elements of relationship abilities I need to teach first and can help to make a difference in a couple of weeks. It saddens me when people feel a need to look for love away from the one closest to them and don’t make an effort to look for solutions with experts before they harm their current bond.
The Strong Leader and The Spunky Lady: Ron and Kathy called me from Wisconsin. They had been married for 27 years; they were resentful and angry at each other and had no sex life. Ron had begun to get his needs for a romantic best friend through an emotional affair with an intelligent and extroverted woman at his workplace. He was rationalizing that elements of the personality quiz typically used on-the-job which he and Kathy had taken showed that Kathy was so opposite to him that she couldn’t love or understand him anymore.
The truth was, they’d been growing apart for years and lost their sexual intimacy but, for logical reasons. Kathy was very angry that Ron dominated her and their children and disrespected her because she was more introverted and less active than he was. I agreed to counsel them; so they drove to Texas for a Marriage Intensive with me.
I learned their history and scheduled prep interviews via 5 hours of phone sessions. When they arrived in Dallas four couples counseling, we worked for 12 hours in my office. Kathy and Ron got to the place where they were smiling and holding hands. One thing they learned was that their differences actually complemented each other–beautifully–provided they knew enough about treating each other with respect and handling their differences with kindness and good humor. Their differences were largely in their personalities revealed by their Enneagrams, their need for company vs solitude, their differing emotional needs as a man and a woman, and their gender differences in terms of getting their love needs satisfied.
Their last nights in Dallas while working with me were a lot more fun than they’d had in a decade. They wished they’d taken action sooner and asked if they could come back next year. I said, “I’m not going anywhere.”
For more help with knowledge, I recommend John Gray’s classic: Men Are from Mars, Women are from Venus!
And, my series of teaching videos on You Tube:
1. Love Needs Female vs Male http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-UHHzpqWAyU