Larry James' BLOG

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Halfway to Each Other…

Filed under: Coaching,Communication,Making Up — Larry James @ 7:00 am

“I’m really scared,” she said, “I’m so afraid the relationship is over.” She began to cry. “I feel like we’ve both waited too long before either of us were brave enough to ask for help.”

If this has happened to you or someone close to you, you are not alone.

The first words out of my mouth to her as her coaching session began was: “It’s never too late if you still love each other because there is a path that leads to halfway to each other however you both must be on the same path for you to complete the journey together!”

So many couples wait until they almost get to the end before they ask for help. The sad truth is, the biggest percentage of couples never ask for help because they give up and break up rather than make up.

Another truth about a relationship break-up is that in almost every case, one partner has secretly been “thinking” about leaving the relationship for a long time – perhaps a year or more – and the other partner is surprised when they finally break the news that they are leaving. Surprised? Yes, surprised. There are always clues that one partner or the other is unhappy in the relationship however they most often are too blind (or resentful – or angry) to see the clues. By then, it usually is too late to do anything to patch things up.

If you are unhappy in your relationship and have considered leaving… it’s time to reach out to someone who can help and to communicate.

Remember what it was like when you first got together? You talked about anything and everything and agreed on most things too.

“But I can’t talk to her/him. She/he won’t listen. Every time I try to talk with her/him, we begin to fight. It’s so hopeless.”

It takes learning how to communicate with your partner on a deeper level. While it’s true that to work together, you must communicate, there needs to be agreement for each of you to do your best to work it out together.

“All couples should learn the art of conflict as they should learn the art of making love. Good conflict is objective and honest – never vicious or cruel. Good conflict is healthy and constructive, and brings to a marriage the principles of equal partnership.” ~ Ann Landers

There is no such thing as a relationship without conflict. Some conflicts are small. Others are colossal and difficult to manage. How you resolve the conflict, not how many occur, is the critical factor in determining whether a relationship will be healthy or unhealthy, mutually satisfying or unsatisfying, friendly or unfriendly, deep or shallow, intimate or cold.

Constant conflict can wear you down. It can destroy your self esteem. It is not unusual for people to be afraid about seeking counseling. This can be for lots of reasons. Many people’s culture or upbringing tells them that they should be able to handle their problems on their own, or that talking with a counselor is shameful. There is no shame is seeking help.

Don’t wait. If you do, little resentments then started to creep their way in and will always grow bigger. The longer you wait… the more difficult it is to get the process of communication started.

It takes courage to tell a third party – a coach, therapist, etc. – that you’ve lost that loving feeling AND if you love each other and choose to stay together… you must. The coaches goal is to help you.

Wouldn’t it feel great to have someone listen to you, and only you, without distractions, interruptions, and without judgment? Not only is it okay to see a relationship coach, it is a sign of strength and self-respect. You must take the first step while you are still afraid. After taking that final step, the fear is often replaced by a great sense of relief, comfort and well-being. Coaching allows you to clarify your needs without the blame, flame and shame experiences that block your communications with each other.

A final thought: I spoke recently with a man who told me that he and his wife had been to several different therapists, coaches and none of them worked. I asked him if he or his wife changed any of their behavior after seeing the therapists. He hesitated and said, “I guess not.” Be clear, you don’t go to a coach or therapist to have them fix you. They cannot do that. That is not their job. YOU have to do the work. Everyone has personal resources that are as yet untapped. A good coach can help you discover what those resources are and show you how to use them together for your best advantage.

A major shift in your behavior with each other is required for anything to be different.

BONUS Articles: Communicating is Not Optional
…And If All Else Fails?

Larry’s Note: A special “Thank you!” to Susan Pohlman for allowing me to use the title of her book as the title to this article!


Click book cover for info!

CLoveLOGOCopyright © 2012 – Larry James. This idea is adapted from Larry’s books, “How to Really Love the One You’re With: Affirmative Guidelines for a Healthy Love Relationship,” “LoveNotes for Lovers: Words That Make Music for Two Hearts Dancing” and “Red Hot LoveNotes for Lovers.” Larry James is a professional speaker, author, relationship coach and an award winning nondenominational Wedding Officiant. He performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere. Something NEW about relationships is posted every 4th day on this Relationships BLOG.

Subscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE. Contact:, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – and

NOTE: All articles and “LoveNotes” listed in this BLOG – written by Larry James – are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.


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  3. I love what you said about one partner in a couple secretly thinking about leaving for a long time without telling the other. I was thinking the other day about how two people are in a relationship and one person might feel that he or she is expressing dissatisfaction and the other person isn’t hearing it. When I coach couples, one person will often say, “I have told her over and over again that this upsets me but she’s just now hearing me.” It seems that it isn’t until they reach a crisis point that people really start hearing one another, but by then it’s often too late. I’d love to hear your thoughts on this subject.

    Comment by Lisa Shield — Tuesday, January 22, 2013 @ 7:42 am | Reply

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