If you are reading this article you are probably feeling a wide range of emotions right now around your relationship and where it has ended up. Maybe you are feeling sadness, pain, anger, frustration, confusion, shame, blame, and grief. How did we end up here? Can we ever go back to how it was? Can I fall back in love with my husband / wife? If so, how?!
When we were young we were told that the hard part would be finding our prince/princess charming. After that it was all a matter of riding off into the sunset of blissful romance until death do us part...right? And then we grew up and many of us discovered that finding love was far easier than maintaining and cultivating thriving, ever-lasting love over the course of time together. Things eventually started to fizzle out and you began to wonder how to get those magical feelings back in the relationship.
At this point in your relationship you can probably list off the top 10 recurring fights you have. The things you once found cute and quirky about your partner are now obnoxious and can feel like nails on a chalkboard. But you still are drawn to be with this person - to see if you can reignite the flame and fall back in love with each other.
The good news is that this is really quite common and even (dare I say) normal! Sometimes the connection between you both will be strong, sometimes it will feel strong for only one person, and sometimes it may feel almost (or completely) absent. It does not matter if you have been together for 1 year or 45 years - eventually the New Relationship Energy (NRE) that had you feeling butterflies all the time fades and Mature Relationship Energy (MRE) takes its place. And the really good news: This is where the juicy, life-long love is cultivated. This is where you get to rewrite the story and make it your own happily ever after.
Since our reality is based on stories we were once told and ones we now tell ourselves, it can be incredibly helpful (and healthy!) to work with a Relationship Coach - an expert in the art and science of relationships. No, working with a coach does not mean you are F*ed up or that your relationship is doomed. Coaches actually “assume that the individuals and couples they work with are healthy, powerful, and able to achieve relationship goals with effective support, information, and guidance. In short, coaching is a results and goal-oriented methodology. Coaching assumes the client is functional and fully capable of success.”
1. Relationship Coaches allow you to vent AND be heard...then go deeper.
They know how to listen to you and really hear your pain. They are able to give you the time and space your inner critic needs to be heard. Then they can lovingly help you look for old patterns that no longer serve you and are holding you back from the powerful love you desire. We all learn “how to love” from our caregivers when we are very young, and most of us do not actually want to repeat what we learned. Instead, a Relationship Coach can help you go deeper than this story and make choices through more honesty, compassion, and authenticity. They know how to guide you through life-changing work. They are not your close friends or parents, and thus are not invested in saying the right things to make you happy. They ask the right questions to help you get what you actually want for long-term happiness. This is not about corroborating your current narrative - it’s about shifting your stories to help you fall back in love again. They get to see what you don’t see. And if you and your partner are working with the same professional then they get the full 360 degree view of the landscape and all the old stories you are telling yourselves. I’ve seen it all over the years! Chances are what you are going through is actually really normal AND solvable! You don’t have to stay stuck. You just have to open up to receiving some guidance. Relationship Coaches know some really incredible tools that can actually work for you. Working with them helps you learn how to be heard (and listen). If only we had spent more time covering THAT lesson in fairy tales...
2. Relationship Coaches can help you remember why you fell in love in the first place.
Having someone there to hear your complete story and celebrate the journey with you can begin to reignite old feelings of love and reestablish connection. They can help you reflect on what brought you joy about one another in the first place and how you have overcome hard times together. They may even inspire you both to help one another feel seen and loved in this new place through being a witness to where you came from and linking the emotions behind each sweet memory.
3. Relationship Coaches give you permission to change the game and shake things up in ways that you just can’t do easily on your own.
There is something powerful in being given permission to try something out of the norm, or to try something again which may not have had the desired effects when you attempted something similar years ago. It’s amazing what couples will do when they are given homework to complete prior to a coaching session. They may have resisted doing something for years, but when the idea comes from a professional they allow themselves to do it “because she told me to” and experience how trying something new can shift things in ways they never imagined. Shaking things up and doing things together that are N.I.C.E. (New, Interesting, Challenging, and Exciting) is one of the best proven ways of helping you fall back in love again. It can teach you how to love your partner in new ways. By taking these small steps towards one another it can help soften your partner and create space for new love to take root where there was once resistance.
4. Relationship Coaches hold you both accountable and help you create healthy boundaries.
They have the unique role of being an objective third party who can help guide you and check on your progress towards your own goals. They can also help you create healthy boundaries for yourselves so that you continue to invest in what you love as individuals and not getting too lost in the relationship. Often times we need a gentle reminder of the power of being our own unique selves and giving space for our partner to become curious about who we are today and love them for who they really are in this new space. Relationship Coaches will check in to see how things are progressing and to help you both move through resistance so that you can heal old wounds and come into connection with your lover again in ways that have you staying up all night just to see the next sunrise together.
5. Relationship Coaches have really incredible resources and tools.
Most of them are passionate professionals who have invested huge amounts of time, energy, and finances into learning the art and science of relationships. Chances are this has been an area of interest for them for most of their lives. They often have powerful networks of skilled professionals to support them and a toolbox filled with the best learnings from hundreds of hours of training and research. Working with them can give you instant access to the best of the best resources available to help you navigate your current situation and learn ways to fall in love again.
6. Relationship Coaches know how to bring intimacy back.
Even if it has been a very long time since you were both intimate with one another, a Relationship Coach can help you ease back in and reconnect with one another’s bodies and souls in a safe, consenting way. They can help ease the way for your partner to fall back in love with you. They can speak to both of your individual needs and desires and help you find creative ways of feeling curious, desirous, excited, and nourished again. It may be as small as helping you feel connected through hand holding or helping you revamp your sex life completely. Whatever stage you are at, building physical intimacy can help you both reestablish trust and bonding in your love.
7. Relationship Coaches understand that feelings can feel scary and overwhelming...and help you release them.
Stuffing them down inside that great big volcano of yours is only a temporary solution. As is running as fast as you can from them. As is putting on the “everything is fine!” face and going about life as if your heart were not being crushed by the weight of a steamroller. There is this saying that “what you resist persists.” Relationship Coaches can safely guide you through the terrifying shadows of big, dark emotions so that you can finally feel free to love and be loved deeply.
8. Relationship Coaches mediate and help you question your own stories.
Tired of the same old fights time and time again? Guess what? It doesn’t have to be a fight. It can be a win-win situation. A Relationship Coach can facilitate dialogue, call time-outs, and compassionately call each of you on your BS tactics (that you have already proven still don’t work). Most of the time when there is tension or conflict in a relationship, it is actually about you and the stories you hold. What if you could lower your defenses as dare to love vulnerably again? If you could write the ending to your story, how could you both actually have it all? Working with a professional can empower you to question what has been written thus far and be the author of your own story to create your own happy ending.
One of the biggest keys to success in discovering how to get feelings back in a relationship is to be proactive every day you choose to be together. I see a lot of couples wait until it is almost too late to salvage the relationship before working with a professional Relationship Coach. Eventually they fall apart and wind up in new relationships, only to repeat the same unhealthy patterns and feel surprised by how familiar it feels even when they vowed not to do that again. Learning to love deeply and allowing yourself to be loved deeply in return is not something we were taught growing up. Just like any new skill, it takes time to understand, practice, integrate, and master.
So what’s stopping you? What story are you telling yourself about how you “should” be able to create and thrive in love without any real support? Maybe it is time to get curious around what else is possible if you approach partnership as if it is a skill that you need to learn in order to discover the real happily ever after.