What Great Couples Have Taught Me

My clients have taught me what it takes to be an extraordinary couple, to build soul-opening love and sizzling chemistry for life, and to leave a legacy that outlasts you both.

IT STARTED WITH LEADERS

I was an executive coach for many years and worked with a wide variety of leaders. The scope of my work, in that first decade and a half, was holistic, but our focus was on their leadership, not on their relationship.

Some clients’ marriages suffered from neglect that they considered all-but-inevitable given the demands of their careers. But the truly extraordinary leaders, the ones whose teams would fall on a sword for them and whose own aliveness lit up the room when they walked in, they were the ones whose marriages were the strongest.

THE STRONGEST COUPLES SOUGHT THE MOST SUPPORT

It astonished me, at first, when those very same leaders whose marriages were already amazing and who made the best use of my leadership coaching, were the ones who began to turn to me, unbidden, to talk about their marriages.

See, they weren’t in crisis. They weren’t mired in conflict, they weren’t sleeping in separate rooms, they weren’t weathering a years-long sexual dry spell. They were doing well, but THEY WANTED MORE.

And as I helped these amazing leaders - some of them male, some of them female - with their side of the relationship, I learned as much as they did. I loved helping them in love so much that I gradually began to offer, and then to specialize in, couples’ work for leaders.

GROWTH-DRIVEN LEADERS SEEK GROWTH EVERYWHERE

The peak performers in every field tend to be peak performers in all aspects of life.  Naturally, there are also many in the highest echelons of each company or field whose lives and relationships are a shambles, because they burn everything else on the pyre of their obsession with their work.  Sometimes I was able to help those clients in the relationship realm, and sometimes that wasn’t what they even wanted.

But time and again, I fell in love with those potent clients who were so masterful at love and so devoted to learning more, getting more support, and creating even better outcomes in their love and their intimacy.

MY CLIENTS DROVE MY OWN TRANSFORMATION

My clients’ wisdom inspired me and it seeped into my own marriage. I’d found my calling at age 23 when I began my coaching career: helping people - myself included - play all-out at the intersection of their worldly pursuits and their spiritual unfoldment. And my marriage had grown along with my career. But around 2010, my mission took on an even sharper focus. In particular, I realized, I was born to help phenomenal people go deeper in love.

The extraordinary couples I’ve worked with have taught me so much about how we can create the absolute best relationships. It is such a privilege to be the midwife to their evolution as individuals and pairs, and to be the chronicler of what helps them do so well in love and life.

With my long experience in helping leaders create better results organizationally and now this in-depth knowledge about what creates the best results in love & intimacy (as well as additional specialized training and mentorship I felt I needed to optimize my skills as a relationship expert), I am privileged to be able to help any couple who desires it as they move from where they are now -- surely possessing at least SOME of the strengths of the most effective couples -- to their absolute best relationship.

HERE’S WHAT I’VE LEARNED FROM THE GREATEST MARRIAGES ON EARTH:

What do the world’s healthiest, happiest, hottest couples know about making their relationship the best it can be?

Their wisdom starts at the individual level. Individually:

  • At the base of it, they have chosen the relationship.

  • They honor their pasts, their unique constellations of tendencies, their needs and their desires.

  • They take complete ownership of the relationship. They don’t blame their partner, wait for something to change before they will, or rest in hope or complacency. They author their own experience and create results that serve both themselves and the relationship well.

  • They know how to calm themselves when they start to get riled up, and they cultivate a sensitivity to their own state so they know when that’s happening and can nip it in the bud vs. acting out their reactivity.

  • They continually develop their individual erotic intelligence: their comfort with their own body, their confidence in expressing themselves physically, their willingness to be present, vulnerable, in control, and out of control, to give and to receive.

  • They get right with power so that they can flex as there are power fluctuations between the two of them, in terms of earnings, spending, health, position, roles, and more.

  • They know their purpose. They live by their values and have a higher vision for their relationship; it doesn’t just exist “to make me happy” or even to make them both happy; they’re in love for the good of their spiritual growth and for the good of the world around them.

  • They’re humble. They’re good at apologizing, making amends, and cleaning up the messes we all inevitably make in our relationships, since we’re human.

  • They’re clear on their desires and communicate those well, and when they lose track of what they want or need or realize after the fact that they’ve inadvertently compromised their own well-being, they renegotiate without blame or apology.

  • They address their addictions and compulsions. They don’t use their relationship as an excuse to overindulge together, or anything else as an excuse to avoid or cling to any particular sensation, substance, or process. They do often struggle with such patterns, as many people do, but they don’t live in denial and avoidance, allowing their addictions to deepen.

TOGETHER, they apply other skills:

  • They grow TOGETHER.

  • They make space and time for love.

  • They nail the systems that make their life, their home, their family, their fitness, their finances, and other aspects of their life work well.

  • They get support to keep growing. They seek coaching, counseling, training, education, inspiration, and personal support from other extraordinary couples for ongoing growth and ease.

  • They pay it forward. They give to other couples what they’ve received in wisdom, love, and support.

  • They know the sky is the limit, that their relationship, their adventures, their spiritual connection, their emotional experiences have no bounds, that life can keep getting bigger and more beautiful as they reinvest the dividends of all the devotion and effort they’ve brought to it.

  • They give one another permission and invitation to confront them with love on their blind spots and to invite them to the next chapter of their growth.

  • They stay on their learning edge as a couple and individually, always growing and expanding and busting out of their comfort zones with courage and resilience.

  • They acknowledge the different chapters of life and the changes in needs, desires, roles, and patterns of power that accompany them, flexing and renegotiating their relationship with each.

  • They find ways to grow their erotic connection as they pass through chapters of life and as their bodies and minds change. They have a fluid definition of sexuality that allows them to enjoy heat and shared pleasure through a range of circumstances and situations.

  • As they suffer losses and embrace changes, they bear with one another and their different, though both healthy, ways of coping with change and loss.

  • They approach their inevitable parting with equanimity, celebration and gratitude.

I CAN’T WAIT TO LEARN MORE

That’s what I’ve seen so far.  I know these amazing people will continue to teach me, and I know that I will dedicate my heart, mind, and soul to serving, supporting, challenging and adoring them onward to ever-deeper love and ever-better experiences in life.