How Can A Coach Help My Marriage Or Relationship?

A successful marriage needs constant work. That might come as a shock to anyone still enjoying the flush of new romance, when the relationship feels as effortless as breathing. There’s a common perception that a good relationship should remain effortless forever and that when it becomes like work, it’s lost the romance.

This is a fallacy. Even Romeo and Juliet had their misunderstandings.

However, if two people in a relationship believe that the work they’re having to put in is a sign the relationship is failing, it can quickly spiral into self-destruction. The selfless innocence of new love gives way to an increasing inability to see things from any other perspective than your own. You become fixated on your own grievances, and the relationship becomes a stand-off.

“It’s not me. It’s you."

The first victim of a relationship breakdown is objectivity. The second is rationality. You say things you don’t mean. You refuse to apologise, or to accept apologies. You begin to use love as a weapon, withholding it until further notice. Of course, you get exactly the same back.

Work on the self

The only way to break the deadlock is to introduce objectivity. This is where a coach comes in. The first thing a coach will do is listen. For both parties, this might well be the first time they feel their grievances are being heard. That alone can bring about a swift change in mood. The stubbornness begins to fall away, and a greater commitment to understanding is established.

A coach will not be interested in blame. The objective is to define how the relationship should be – not what has been said or done up to this point – and to set out the actions required to make it happen.

By listening, a coach will help both sides to start looking at the situation objectively. From there, it’s a much easier step to start seeing how your own actions affect the situation. Instead of being consumed by the way your partner’s latest adverse action made you feel, you can begin to consider what your role might have been in contributing to it. What were you hoping to achieve? And, is that what you really wanted to achieve?

It takes two

Once you can stop to consider how your actions make the other person feel, you can ask the all-important question: “How do I want them to feel?” And, when you can look at that question objectively, rather than through the red mist of anger and hurt, the next question will be the one that really begins to put your relationship back on track: “What actions must I take to make that happen?”

Of all the components in a relationship, it’s the work you do on yourself that matters most. “What is my contribution to this relationship?” “How can I make it outstanding?” In the early stages of a relationship, that is the approach that both parties take. A coach will help you get back to that constructive, selfless, and ultimately, rewarding way of thinking.

Without the help of a third party, it’s very hard to set aside the anger and hurt. Yet, this is necessary in allowing you to unravel your ill feelings, to reach the point of rebuilding. And even if you do, how do you know what actions you need to take?

All these pieces can be too much to deal with alone, especially when compounded by other common pressures, such as children, ageing parents and money. With a coach, you will have someone who appreciates all the complexities and is well versed in taking constructive steps to rebuild a relationship. Just like a business, your relationship will benefit from being given a well laid-out path to follow, and having someone else to ensure that all components are given the time and attention they require.


In the midst of a relationship breakdown, it’s easy to lose sight of the reasons why you got together in the first place. But, the adversarial actions taken by both sides are newly-formed behaviours that cast a smothering blanket over the positive, selfless feelings you felt for each other. Those positive feelings are not dead; they’re just buried and need to be teased out again.

You can’t do this alone – you need an objective third party. That could be a friend, a counsellor or a coach. A solid coach, rather than administering a treatment-based approach, will work proactively with you to deliver a plan for rebuilding – a structured, practical plan which recognises that, for the mutual appreciation and romance to flourish, successful relationships need constant work.

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Tim Hatari

Tim Hatari helps businesses improve performance, creating strategic development plans and establishing structure via the 5PX Executive Business Coaching System. As CEO and Founder at TMD Coaching, he oversees the vision setting process with clients, leading on sales acquisition, the drive for operational excellence and market leading innovation. For Tim, helping others is the most rewarding part of the role. Follow or connect with Tim on Linkedin -

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Topics from this blog: HR, People Coaching, CPD

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