How Empathy Saved My Marriage

How Empathy Saved My Marriage

I consider myself a pretty empathic person. ​ I’m a therapist after all. ​ I’d make a pretty lousy therapist if I didn’t have empathy. ​ ​

Yet when it came to my marriage. ​ Empathy was NOWHERE to be found. ​

I mean sure, it was there in the beginning. ​ It is in all new relationships, at the falling in love stage. ​ It’s easy then. ​

It was much harder to feel empathy when I was knee deep in anger and resentment that has built up over the years. ​

Years of feeling like I was “trying”, yet nothing was changing. ​

What I wasn’t able to see at the time was that I was being the worst version of myself in my approach towards my husband…..and yet, at the time, I really believed I was the only one trying.

It was so hard for me to see that the demanding, critical version of me was actually pushing away the very thing I wanted.

​Do you ever notice that we tend to treat the people we love the most, the worst?

​This is a common problem I see with many of the clients I work with. ​ ​

They get so focused on WHAT THEY WANT and how they’re not getting it. ​ ​ That they can’t see that the way they are going about it IS what’s making it so difficult for their partner to give to them.

They aren’t aware of how their partner is experiencing them or how they are being impacted by the complaints and criticism. ​

And so your partner, on the receiving end, is feeling like they can never do anything right. ​

When people feel this way, they actually STOP TRYING. ​ They figure, no matter what I do it’s not going to be good enough so why bother.

For example, say you want more quality time with your partner but instead of telling them you miss them and want to spend time together. ​

You tell them, “you never makes me a priority, you never have time for me, you always do this, I can’t count on you to be there”.

Criticism, complaint and demands are ways you, perhaps unknowingly, try to get more of what you want. ​ ​

But let’s face it, NO ONE responds well to being criticized. ​ No one feels motivated to give when they are repeatedly criticized. ​ ​

You may think, I’m just telling them what I want. ​ And it is true. ​ You are telling them what you want. ​

But in a way that makes it impossible for your partner to want to do the things you’re asking for.

And as a successful woman, running her own business, caring for your family, you wonder why can’t someone take care of me once in a while. ​ Why do I have to do everything all the time? ​ Why does my partner NOT see that? ​

A partner that sees you, supports you, and treats you like the goddess you are. ​

​But first…… you have to be aware of HOW YOU ARE GETTING IN YOUR OWN WAY.

How a single focus and a lack of empathy keep you stuck in this painful pattern.

I know. ​ Years ago I was exactly where you may be right now. ​

So how did I turn things around in my marriage to become the happiest I’ve ever been?

After some years of being stuck in these same kinds of patterns, I eventually started to not feel good about who I was being as a partner. ​

My grumpy, critical, negative, frustrated mood was not only taking a toll on my marriage it was taking a toll on ME. ​

I didn’t want to feel this way either, any more than my husband wanted me to be nagging at him all the time. ​

That’s when I told myself it was time for a change. ​

And it was the first time I started to think about, like really think about, how my actions, words, behavior was impacting my husband. ​

I really thought about what it must feel like to be on the receiving end of what I was dishing out. ​

Now remember, I’m an empathic person, so when I really allowed myself to think about this, it completely changed the game for me. ​

⚡ I started to put myself in his shoes and appreciate how it must have felt for him to feel like he was always being criticized and no matter what he did it was always wrong or never good enough. ​

I started to soften, I was less angry, and honestly, I felt some guilt that I’d been this way for so long.

Recognizing that changed the game for me AND for my marriage.


Once I was aware of this, there was no going back. ​ I started to really think about what I was going to say and how I was going to say it. ​

It helped me tune into my husband and really want to understand him instead of justifying and defending my position all the time. ​

I was able to see his efforts and not just dismiss everything he was doing. ​

Instead of only focusing on what I wasn’t getting I started to notice all the ways he was already giving to me that I was NOT paying attention to. ​

By The simple act of noticing positive aspects of my partner and our marriage, I felt so much better. ​

Empathy truly is the bridge to intimacy. ​

And it can easily get lost in long term marriages. ​

And so that’s one of the important skills that I help my clients with in my 12 week marriage mastery program.

The lack of empathy, the lack of being able to recognize how your behavior and words have an impact on your partner will keep you disconnected. ​ ​

So this is a must if you want to reconnect to love and appreciation for your spouse. ​

What does empathy do for an intimate relationship?
It heals, it connects, it softens, it accepts.
It’s the magic elixir.
It can quickly eliminate the cycles of conflict and disconnection.

The power of empathy cannot be underestimated.

To bring empathy back to your marriage I help my clients move out of a self focused perspective to considering the relationship as a whole instead of a you against me. ​

Realizing that you are a part of the pattern and you are also having an impact on your partner. ​ ​

I help you unpack the negative labels and your preconceived ideas and judgments about your partner that prevent you from seeing the full story of your relationship.

You learn to connect with yourself again and bring awareness to how you’re showing up. ​

Not from a place of blame or judgement but simply being aware so that you can choose to do it differently. ​

You learn new ways of communicating so criticism, complaints and demands are replaced with requests, acknowledgment and appreciation.

I teach you how to listen to your partner is a whole new way. ​ Without defending, without righteousness, without judgement. ​

Because when you are defending, being judgy and righteous you CAN’T possibly feel empathy or feel connected to your spouse. ​

These are skills that take time to learn and require a willingness to look at how you can improve your response to your partner even when you don’t like or don’t agree with what they say or do. ​

We all have a deep need to feel heard and understood and when we do, we can’t help but feel close and connected to the other person. ​

When you make these changes, your partner will naturally be more responsive to you. ​ You are way more likely to have them want to do the things you request. ​

​This is the work of creating a fulfilling, thriving, satisfying marriage for life. ​

It’s not the quick fix. ​ It’s not “our marriage will be better when they change”. ​

That simply doesn’t work, which you’ve probably already discovered.

If you’ve been on the path for a while and you’ve not been able to create lasting sustainable change, you likely need a different approach.

An approach that has you solving the fight of the week or efforting to get your partner to do the things you want….keeps you spinning your wheels.

Things always revert back to the same old same old. ​

My MARRIAGE MASTERY approach is different in that the focus is on changing the patterns, not the person!​

You definitely can influence your partner, when you shift they will shift. ​

But TRYING TO CHANGE OTHER PEOPLE is an exercise in futility. ​

PATTERNS, you can change them. ​

When each person is focused on changing their part. ​

And if you’re doing this work alone that’s ok too. ​

Because, like I said, if you shift they will shift. ​
So even if you’re the only one working on making a shift you will absolutely see a shift in your relationship dynamics and patterns.

So what do you say?

Does your marriage need a dose of empathy? ​

If you’re looping in circles you need a new approach, I can show you exactly what you can do to turn your marriage around and rekindle the love and connection you once shared. ​

If interested send me a message. ​ Let me know how long you’ve been married, what you’ve already done to try and fix things and how you want your marriage to be different.

If it sounds like something I can help you with we can schedule a call to get you started in my 12 week coaching program.

Why Couples Therapy Often Fails

Why Couples Therapy Often Fails

I get asked a lot, what’s the difference between therapy and coaching.

People have lots of different explanations around this. ​ Some say therapy is more focused on the past and coaching is focused on the future.

Some say therapy is problem focused, coaching is solution focused.

Any and all of those could be true but what’s more important is, does the therapist or coach have a process or plan to help clients get the results they want.

Most therapy does NOT have a process or a plan when it comes to helping couples.

Which is why couples therapy often fails clients.

If you’ve been to therapy before and it didn’t work, don’t lose hope. ​ It may be that you just didn’t find the right help.


I worked as a therapist for years and I realized early on that the same skills I was using to work with individuals, did NOT work for couples.

It was clear that asking a couple “how does that make you feel”, was an invitation to unleash every complaint and criticism of their partner. ​ The conversation would escalate and I was left wondering, what now?

So in 2010 I began taking some courses in couples therapy. ​ ​ It became abundantly clear that there was an entirely different skill set that I needed to learn to work with couples effectively.

And since that day I have completed countless courses and trainings, with the top leaders in the field, in couples therapy.

And I continue to participate in trainings through the programs I have previously trained with, so I can always be growing and bringing the best for my clients.

👉 UNFORTUNATELY, LOTS OF WELL MEANING THERAPISTS, who are trained to do individual therapy don’t realize that the skills you use in individual therapy are not the same skills you use with couples.

And using those same skills with couples actually makes things much worse.

The consumer, the couple, doesn’t know what to look for either.

And so if they see a therapist works with adolescents, adults, couples, etc. they will choose that person. This therapist, most likely, is not equipped to help a couple in distress.

This would be like going to see your general practitioner when you have a heart condition. ​

Many of the clients that come to work with me have been to multiple therapists before and the therapy failed them.

Not because the therapists aren’t good therapists, they may be an outstanding therapist. ​ But for individuals, NOT couples.


Unfortunately, many couples give up after seeing one or two or maybe even 3 therapists with little to no results or perhaps making things worse.

The couples figures, divorce must be the only option, EVEN THE THERAPIST CAN’T HELP US. ​ We must be really damaged.

You see, when couples reach out to get help, they are in a very delicate and vulnerable state, as many wait years before they seek support. ​ So, often, they are at the end of their rope and have even contemplated divorce.

The majority of these couples don’t want to get divorced. ​ What they really want is for someone to say to them, “I can help you”. ​ “I know what the problem is, why you’re here and what you can do to turn your marriage around”. ​

Many of these couples are truly just looking for hope that things can be better than they are.


AFTER DOING THIS WORK FOR OVER A DECADE I know what works and what doesn’t and what you, the consumer, should look for when seeking help for your marriage.

Couples are typically in distress by the time they reach out for help.

They’ve been repeating painful patterns for years that have left them frustrated, exhausted and hopeless.

What they need is to know that what they are experiencing is common and it doesn’t mean there is something wrong with them.

The problem is they simply haven’t found a way to work through their difficulties.

Normalizing their difficulties and letting them know there is hope. ​ They can then breath a sigh of relief knowing that I am going to show them a way out of the pain and into a more promising future.

❌ THE BIGGEST MISTAKE THERAPISTS MAKE when working with couples.


Diving right into problem solving without any clear goals, without conceptualizing the problem for the couple and without mapping out a plan what they will need to be working on so they can achieve their goals.

There really is no clear plan or path forward.

They may end up just focusing on the whatever issue they are having that week.

There is no real learning taking place around how you break these patterns, how you move your relationship forward in a positive direction, how you stop triggering each other, what you each need to do to improve your interactions.

When I work with a couple the first thing I do is help them understand the problem. ​ How they got here, what it will take to improve.

I will identify the destructive cycle for them so each partner begins to understand what they are working on changing.

Clients have to know what they are working on outside the session, otherwise nothing will change.


Most therapists lack the leadership that is required in couples sessions.

Have you been to therapy before and you just fought in the session without the therapist being able to take charge and control of the session?

Strong leadership is crucial.

Therapists, in couples sessions, cannot just sit back and listen, reflect, and support.

What’s required is a strong, confident leader that can interrupt the couple’s ineffective, unhealthy patterns in real time.

Therapists MUST BE highly active in the process to contain what happens in the session and help clients have a corrective experience.

When leadership is lacking, couples will leave feeling hopeless that change is possible. ​ Because they are simply repeating in the therapist’s office, what they do at home.

Thinking, if even the therapist can’t help us, we must be beyond help.


Going to therapy once a month or whenever you have a big fight is not effective in helping couples create lasting change.

This is a reactive method and doesn’t really change the dynamics, it simply pacifies the current issue.

As I said before, when couples seek help they are typically in distress.

A once a month or every few weeks is not enough to move them out of the pain they are in and put them on a positive path forward.

When I work with a couple in distress I have a minimum commitment of 3 months. ​ And many of my clients continue beyond that.

Why? ​ Because creating significant change in your relationship takes a lot more than a few sessions.

Think about how long it has taken you to get to this point. ​ You’ve had years of practicing the patterns and habits that are deeply entrenched in your relationship. ​ Undoing those patterns and habits takes time, daily commitment, support and accountability.

All of these mistakes speak to a LACK OF PROCESS, PLAN & LEADERSHIP.

Which is what is necessary when working with couples and why therapy often fails couples.

That’s why I’ve spent years creating my own process and plan for how to get couples the best results possible.

💞 My 12 week MARRIAGE MASTERY program is different than anything you’ve tried before. ​

With my approach you know what your goals are and what you are working towards. ​ You have a clear process and plan to help you achieve those goals.

I’m NOT A GENERAL therapist or coach.

I specialize in working with married women & couples only.

I am an expert at what I do.

✅ I’ve spent years developing my framework and stripping back the things that were not needed so that you can make progress quickly and permanently giving you both the tools and techniques to be able to use and succeed in the future too.

✅ If you’re struggling or feeling hopeless right now, if you’ve been to therapy before and it didn’t help or made things worse, if you feel like no matter what you do things just never seem to get better……

✅ You’re committed to making your marriage work, you want to turn things around now AND you’re ready to invest in working with a mentor who has proven results, ​ send me a message and we can see if working together is a fit.

➡️ In your message, tell me a little bit about your current situation, how long you have been married for, what you’ve tried already to make your marriage better and what is the main outcome that you are looking to achieve, then I will take it from there.

➡️ Please don’t be afraid of messaging me or booking a call with me. ​ I have worked with so many different clients now I can confidently assure you that I will have already dealt with similar problems, stresses and issues to the ones that you are currently facing and I look forward to hearing from you.

Tired of Walking Around on Eggshells in Your Marriage?

Tired of Walking Around on Eggshells in Your Marriage?

You’re careful about what you say so you don’t upset your partner and cause an argument.

You pain over how to bring up an issue because you’re worried about how he’ll react.

Censoring what you say and how you say it is so natural you don’t even realize you’re doing it most of the time.

These patterns of relating and communicating are common in many couple relationships and are the reason so many couples feel resentful and disconnected from each other.

These patterns go on for years, sometimes decades and even though they likely don’t make your relationship any better you can’t imagine how to do it differently.

Some people avoid conflict at all cost and live pleasantly with no real depth to their relationship.

Some argue frequently and then just move on after a few days without ever addressing the issue, until the argument comes up again.

Each relationship develops different patterns.

The common denominator is these patterns are painful and compromise the quality of your life and marriage.

The good news is you can change these patterns no matter how long you’ve been at it.

Just like my client who was in this exact place when we started working together.

She had always described herself as a confident, direct, say it how it is kind of person.

That is in all places except her marriage.

When conversations became tense her husband would raise his voice, get defensive or angry. She would get defensive and angry back and then they wouldn’t talk for days.

He would go radio silent and she didn’t know what to say or do to make things better but she knew she hated the silence between them.

It was painful to live this way. Not knowing when he would be ready to talk again.

Because of this, she decided it was better to not bring up things that might cause this to happen again.

That’s when she decided it was better to keep her concerns to herself. She stopped sharing her thoughts, feelings, desires, concerns openly and honestly.

She started internalizing everything instead of bringing it up with her husband because she couldn’t bare the stonewalling.

Not being true to herself, not speaking up or being honest had it’s own set of repercussions.

The more she censored herself, walked on eggshells, didn’t voice her concerns, She noticed she started to feel anxious and depressed.

She even started to consider that their marriage just wouldn’t work and that without him changing she couldn’t see how this could possibly work.

All of that changed over the months that we worked together.

First I helped her see that her avoidance was causing much more harm to their relationship and to her.

In the moment she might avoid an argument but the long term consequences of that was compromising her mental health and she started to feel more hopeless about their marriage and considered they may have to separate.

With weekly coaching sessions she learned to think about conflict differently. Viewing it as an opportunity for each of them to grow as people and as a couple rather than something to be avoided.

She stopped feeling responsible for her husband’s reactions and focused on controlling her own emotions and reactions.

She went from thinking she had to adjust her behavior so he didn’t get upset to realizing It’s ok for him to have his reactions, to be upset or angry and she only has to work on how she responds to him.

This freed up so much mental energy for her to focus on how to communicate more effectively with him.

She learned how to bring up concerns in a confident, assertive way even if her husband disagreed or didn’t like what she was saying.

She learned to set boundaries when she felt like the conversation was heading down a bad path.

She started to be more herself again. Speaking up for herself confidently and directly.
Telling her husband what she wanted instead of complaining of what wasn’t happening.
And guess what…..her husband responded much better than she ever imagined.

He was responding to the changes she was making. He had a better understanding of what her concerns were and what she wanted because of the more direct, non blaming way she was communicating.

It was easier for him to receive her message when it was delivered in this way.

This is true of all relationships.

The more she showed up in her power and communicated assertively, when she talked about what she wanted instead of talking about him, speaking without blame, criticism or judgment, things started to shift in their relationship.

Depression and anxiety lifted and she began to have hope about their marriage again.

As a couple they started to work more as a team. Supporting each other through difficulties instead of working against each other.

She feels so much better about herself and her marriage and feels equipped to deal with things that come their way.

She is more accepting of her husband and his differences rather than making them mean that they don’t belong together.

This is what can happen when you learn the skills and tools that it takes to have a successful, supportive loving partnership.

Do You Consider Yourself a Good Listener?

Do You Consider Yourself a Good Listener?

What about when it comes to your marriage?

Do you listen to your partner like you would a good friend? Or is it more like you’re kinda listening but really thinking about how wrong they are and what you’re planning to say as a rebuttal?

Listening sounds so simple. Yet, when you’re out of practice it can feel really hard to do.

The truth is most of us could probably work on our listening skills especially when it comes to our significant relationships.

In long term marriage it is very common for partners to become focused on being heard by the other but are often not so good at listening to each other.

So don’t feel bad if this is you. Like other skills, you can get better at this through practice.

So, Think for a moment.

What happens when your partner says something you don’t like or DON’T agree with?​

Do you pause, get curious and ASK QUESTIONS about why he thinks that?​

Or, do you GET DEFENSIVE and tell him he’s wrong, and that’s a stupid idea and we’re not doing it that way!?​

Do you judge, criticize and offer your unsolicited solution… “you should….”

I used to do that too. Not just with my husband but with my kids as well.

The outcome was always the same. Neither of us felt heard. We were both angry and annoyed with each other and could never seem to have a productive conversation.

The good news is
You don’t have to solve ALL of your problems to communicate better.

You don’t need to rehash every argument from the past

But you do have to become a better listener.

No I mean like really listening.

That means being curious, asking questions to learn more about your partner, staying calm and accepting even when you don’t agree.

These are skills that will benefit you in any relationship.

When I learned to listen and be curious instead of critical and judgmental I learned things about my husband I didn’t know. Because my curiosity invited conversation.

And conversation invites connection.

The same is true with my kids, who are now 18 and 20. Instead of telling them what they should do, I ask them to tell me what they think.

When you get quiet and listen, they talk.

These are the exact skills I help my clients practice and strengthen, and they end up being able to communicate in ways that bring closeness and connection instead of distance and disconnect in their marriage.

Maybe reading this has confirmed that you are already aware of what you’re doing, but you don’t know how to change your DEFAULT RESPONSE. And you’re certainly not alone if this is the case.

That’s exactly what I help women and couples with in my 1:1 private coaching.

Working with me will help you STOP reacting with blame, defensiveness and anger, listen with curiosity, let go of past resentments, and enjoy being married again. ​

With my supportive instruction, accountability, and feedback you will receive, YOU can learn to COMMUNICATE better and RECONNECT to your partner and listen to each other like good friends.

Schedule a call with me and we can set up a time to chat and determine whether working with me is right for you.
This is a free 30 minute ‘get to know you’ call.

You can tell me what’s currently going on in your marriage, how you want it to be different and I’ll share with you how I can help you.

We’re Just So Different

I hear this from every woman or couple I work with. ​ ​

They think “we’re just so different” is the reason their relationship is not working. ​ ​

And wonder “how do we make this work when we can’t agree on anything”. ​ ​

​Earlier in my own marriage this is exactly what I thought.​

My husband and I are so different, did I marry the right person. ​ ​

Let’s be honest. ​ ​

You married your partner in the first place because he was different than you. ​ ​

It wasn’t a problem then and it’s not a problem now. ​ ​

You just stopped accepting and appreciating those differences the way you once did. ​ ​

​The truth is you will have differences in any relationship. ​ ​

They will be a different set of differences in another relationship but you’ll still have to figure out how to deal with them. ​ ​

Letting go of judgment.​ 👈🏻

​Accepting people for who they are.​ 💕​

May not be easy but is critical for the success of any relationship. ​

Whether with your partner, your children, parents, co workers, etc. ​ ​

And yourself! ​ ​

Chances are if you’re judging them you’re also judging you.​

​I used to get so mad at my husband when he didn’t have the same thoughts and feelings I did about something. ​ ​😡​ ​ 😡​

If I got mad, for example…..
At the take out guy who got our order wrong, ​
Or the person in front of us driving really slow, ​
Or the lawn guy who sprayed our lawn when it was raining… ​ ​

I expected my husband to be mad too. ​

But the truth is, he wasn’t bothered by stuff like that.
Still isn’t. ​ ​

And that bothered me. ​

Now, I wasn’t just mad at the lawn guy. ​

I was mad at my husband for not being mad at the lawn guy!​

Sounds silly when I actually write it out. 😜​

I would literally argue with him because I thought he should be mad like I was. ​ ​

Can you relate??​

Here’s what I learned that has changed my marriage. ​

It’s not the differences that are the problem, it’s the judgment, criticism and intolerance that their perspective is different than yours. ​ ​💯

Ask yourself, why is it so important that my partner agree with me on this?​

What do you make it mean when they don’t?​

​It took a lot of practice for me to finally be able to break this pattern. ​ ​

I still see it come up for me from time to time. ​
I can see myself quietly judging him.​

⚡️  But now I’m able to stop myself and recognize what I’m doing before I start trying to change his mind. ​ ​

⚡️  The more I was able to do that the less I reacted in anger and judgment. ​ ​

⚡️  We stopped having so many arguments.​

⚡️  I was less frustrated and annoyed and felt more loving towards my husband. ​ ​

⚡️  I started to actually listen to his thoughts and feelings instead of criticizing them. ​ ​

⚡️  I made a genuine effort to understand his perspective by being curious and asking questions. ​ ​

​This was a relief for both of us. ​✨  ❤️  ✨

And relieved so much tension in our marriage. ​ ​

​I felt more loving and accepting when I let go of judgment and stopped trying to change him. ​ ​

I feel lighter just writing that. ​ ​🤩​

If your differences are taking a toll on your relationship ​

If you’re stuck in a similar pattern as I was and you want to figure out how to let go of judgment and reconnect with love so you can be happy in your marriage, I can help! 💕​

Send me a private message and let’s talk about the dreams you have for you future together.

Wondering How to Convince Your Partner to Go to Marriage Counseling With You?

So the therapist can take your side.​

Tell your husband the same things you’ve been telling him for years.​

And hopefully, finally, he’ll see he’s wrong and HE’LL CHANGE? ​

​If you’re nodding your head in agreement. ​ ​

Like yes of course that’s exactly it.​

❌. I hate to burst your bubble but THAT’S EXACTLY THE REASON you’re struggling in your marriage. ​ ​

The woman that has a LIFE & MARRIAGE SHE LOVES knows her relationship is simply a mirror.​

Reflecting back to her the places within that need healing. ​ ​ ​ ​

She might not know what the solution is but SHE KNOWS it starts with LOOKING INWARD rather than getting caught up in an endless cycle of blame and criticism.​

​She’s NOT looking for the traditional therapist to rehash the argument of the week. ​

She’s been that route. ​ ​

She knows she needs something more than what therapy can offer. ​

She is NOT looking for the quick fix because ​

She knows doing this kind of work is an ongoing process of personal growth and evolution.​

And she’s EXCITED to do this work.​

​She’s been on this path for a while.
​AND wants to break free of the self imposed constraints that have held her back in her life and relationships. ​ ​ ​

She’s NOT shopping for the cheapest option.​

She’s accustom to investing in her personal growth.​

She understands the commitment and focus that comes from investing in herself and her marriage. ​

The woman that TRULY DESIRES to change her life & marriage understands how precious life is and​
Is not interested in wasting any more time. ​

She’s decided SHE’S NOT WILLING to settle for a mediocre marriage or life. ​ ​

She wants to be pushed, be challenged, get out of her comfort zone, try new things, hold herself to a higher standard​.

Because she understands, THIS IS WHAT IT TAKES to continue growing and evolving. ​ ​

There’s no need to convince this woman. ​
She’s all in for herself. ​ ​


It’s not that you can’t communicate…..

It’s that you don’t know how to stop being defensive.

After yet another big argument, that same argument that you have over and over again. It’s so familiar you could write the script.

AND there’s never any resolution. Sometimes you don’t even remember what it was you were fighting about in the first place.

You want desperately to stop having these arguments. They’re ruining your marriage. It seems no matter what you do nothing changes. You wonder why can’t we figure this out, it shouldn’t be this hard.

One of the biggest reasons you keep having the same arguments is you’re stuck in a pattern of being defensive and blaming.

What exactly do I mean by that.

When you’re triggered by something your partner says or does, you have an immediate defensive reaction to that. That might sound something like, “that’s not true”, and then blame, “well you do that to”, “if you didn’t say what you said then I wouldn’t be angry”.

Defensiveness and blame keep you spinning in circles endlessly, never coming to resolution or being able to solve your problems.

If you continue down this path without changing this dynamic you will keep having the same fights that are destroying your relationship.

What’s possible if you learn to stop being defensive?
For one, you can stop having these painful arguments that are threatening your marriage.

You can listen to your partner without over reacting, you would be able to actually figure out the issues that are important to you instead of fighting about who’s right and who’s wrong.

When defensiveness no longer has a place in your relationship you can listen to a differing opinion from your partner or anyone for that matter, and you can be calm, you can listen without making assumptions about what it means. Without taking it personally.

Imagine being able to hear things that you don’t agree with and not feel defensive, not take it personally?

You can completely change the way you and your partner talk to each other when you stop being defensive.

Disagreements can be just disagreements without it escalating into a big fight. You can still feel close and loving even when you disagree.

If you’re worried about where your marriage is headed if things continue this way, that’s one of the main things I help women (and couples) master in my 4 month coaching intensive.

The core focus is on managing your reactions (defensiveness) when you disagree or get triggered by your partner. You will focus on changing the things that are within your control and that is how you respond to your partner.

The first step is being more aware of your reactions. When you feel triggered by something your partner says or does or doesn’t do, what is your reaction?

Think for a moment, you’re driving in the car together and neither of you are talking. It’s quiet. You notice yourself starting to feel aggravated that your partner isn’t saying anything, he’s not talking at all, you’re starting to have a lot of negative thoughts.

Maybe you start to think he doesn’t care, or that your relationship must be bad because you have nothing to talk about. Instead, in that moment you learn to stop and think about why you are feeling aggravated?

What are you making it mean that there is no talking? When you are more aware of your own internal thoughts you can choose a different response.

The work of changing these patterns takes time and practice. Practice slowing down in moments when you are triggered and resisting the urge or impulse to react in the same way you always do. Which is defensive.

You can begin to not take things so personally by noticing what you are thinking and feeling and what you are making your partner’s words mean about you. What if what your partner is saying/ doing had nothing to do with you and everything to do with them.

This is the mindset work that is part of changing this pattern.

When you are able to manage your reactions and be fully in charge of how you respond, this is life changing. This is the kind of change that transforms marriages and this is exactly what I do with women in my 3 month intensive.

So if you’re interested in that, you’re ready for change and you are ready to do what you can to change yourself, because that’s the only thing you can change, then reach out to me in a private message and we’ll see if my four month coaching intensive is right for you.

In my experience when someone is committed to doing this work, their marriage and really their whole life can change very quickly.

Send me that pm and we will chat today.  Or click here to learn more about Marriage Coaching!

Why My Marriage Works

I want to let you know about a really exciting change I’ve been working on.  

I’ve changed my business name from Relationship Counseling of Walpole to My Marriage Works, and I’d love to tell you why….

Why did I change the name of my business?

Ten years ago I decided to focus on becoming an expert in working with couples. 

Not only because I’m so passionate about this work but when I looked around to collaborate with other professionals in this area of work I discovered no other helping professionals that were experts in working with couples.  

So I made it my mission to be that expert. 

As part of that mission my work with couples has evolved into a thriving marriage & relationship coaching business. 

I’ve been a licensed counselor for nearly 20 years and I was done diagnosing people and answering to insurance companies.  I decided I’m going to run my business on my terms and serve my clients more powerfully. 

The medical model did not fit with my business vision and the work I want to do to help people create successful marriages and improve their lives.  

I hired a business coach to help me bring my business vision to fruition.  When I invested in myself, and it was a big investment, my life and business changed and grew exponentially. The personal and business growth I’ve experienced have in turn helped my clients achieve greater results faster.  

I am so honored to be a part of helping people save their marriages

Wondering what’s the difference between coaching and therapy?

Here’s my take after doing both. 

  • Therapy is about treating a mental health problem.
  • Clients explore and heal from the past.
  • Therapy generally goes on indefinitely at the client’s discretion. 
  • Provides support and empathy. 
  • Clients aren’t necessarily looking for massive change as much as to relieve pain.
  • Provide a supportive, empathic listening.

What coaching is to me.

  • It is an active goal driven process that challenges people to grow beyond what they thought was possible.  
  • Clients want to grow and are committed to making changes in their lives to get the results they want.
  • Coaching clients are fully capable of changing their relationships and improving their lives without a diagnosis.
  • Clients are fully committed to change and invested in getting results.
  • The focus is on the future vision clients want to create and taking actions to help them get there. 
  • Always focused on the future they want instead of the past they’ve been living in.  

This way of working has been a perfect fit for me and my own future vision.  

Coaching has given me the freedom to work with clients differently.  

To show up as myself more than I ever have in my 20 years of being a therapist. 

I now offer services for my clients in a way that I know works best instead of what the insurance company dictates. 

I work with clients for set periods of time.  Together we figure out what they really want in their life and relationship and map out a plan to get there.  There is a beginning, middle and end. 

Here’s what new in my business:

I created the 90 day Make Your Marriage Work coaching program for couples who truly want to make their marriage work but don’t know how. 

The 90 day program has proved to be hugely beneficial to clients.  

Couples are more committed to the work and have better results faster.  

Why 90 days?  Because in all my years of working with couples this is what it takes to make real lasting change.  

Remember, most couples that come to see me have been married for years.  They have been repeating the same patterns and habits that have gotten them to where they are now when they’re reaching out for help.  

Those types of ingrained habits/patterns don’t change overnight.  It requires commitment, effort, patience and lots of practice with support, feedback and accountability from me.  

When clients invest in themselves and in saving their marriage, they commit to real change and growth.  

At the end of working together I want clients to be able to say…


Groundhog Day


You have a big blowout over the weekend with your spouse, yet again.
You swear this time you’ve got to do something about it.
You start googling marriage help, how to fix my marriage or some variation of that. You’ll call on Monday.
But Monday comes, you both head off to work, kids are off to school, and you return to everyday routine.
Monday turns into Friday and before you know it you’re back in a groove and things don’t seem that bad.
We’re good. We don’t need help.
Even though the dust has settled, there’s still tension. In the back of your mind you’re worried about the next big fight.
One or both of you walk on eggshells. You may hold back from saying things because you’re not sure how your partner will respond or what might set off the next big argument.
But for now, things are quiet. Tense but quiet.
You never quite get to feeling like you can let your guard down or just rest in the comfort of knowing you can handle whatever comes.
It’s exhausting to live this way. Isn’t it.
What effect is this having on your life, family life, your job, your relationships with other people. Your kids?
Most days you can just push it aside and just do what you’ve got to do.
But it feels more like just surviving!
Do you want more for your life than just surviving?
Here’s the thing,
The problems you have are most likely not deal breakers.
Let me say that again. The problems you have are most likely not deal breakers.
But if this kind of pattern continues, it does eventually become a deal breaker.
Because it becomes just too difficult to live this way.
So if it can be fixed, Why wait?
Get help for your marriage before it’s too late. So you can do more than just survive.
You absolutely can fix this. And have a marriage you are happy to go home to. Imagine feeling more ease, having peace of mind, being more relaxed, enjoying each other, looking forward to spending time together, having positive feelings about your marriage, your partner, your life.
How would you feel if you felt really good about the example you’re showing your kids of what a strong, healthy relationship looks like?
Your marriage sets the climate for other areas of your life.
When your marriage is doing well everyone does better, life is easier, there’s more laughter more lightness, more joy.
If you want to stop just surviving and have more ease, peace, and joy in your marriage and your life book a free 30 minute relationship breakthrough call today.
I want to help you figure out what’s not working, what you want more of in your marriage and help you make a step by step plan to get you there!

Call or text today 617-694-7015

Listen Up

If you really think about it, when you are in a  difficult conversation with your partner or spouse are you listening to understand and learn or are you listening to respond

If you’re being truthful you probably said “listening to respond”. 

Don’t worry, you’re not alone in this.  This is quite common and one of the most obvious blocks to good communication. I see this in the majority of couples I work with in my coaching practice.  Can you relate?

Most of us think we are listening when we’re really not.  When you’re caught in tense moments of disagreement or more difficult moments of full out arguments you are likely just thinking about your response.

You and your partner disagree about something.   You argue for your perspective to be heard without hearing what your partner has to say. You interrupt each other, talk over each other, tune out, judge, blame, and the big one is defend.  Being defensive is a huge block to real listening and is a hard habit to break. But is not impossible to learn.

In addition to defending another thing that partners do that gets in the way of good listening is trying to “fix it”.  

Instead of listening, which is what we all want, you or your partner try to come up with solutions to try and fix it.  Really, all you want is for them to listen but instead they are saying things like “why don’t you do x” or “don’t worry about it”  “you shouldn’t be upset about that”.  And while it may be well intentioned because the listener may not want you to feel discomfort, it only serves to invalidate your thoughts and feelings.  

Listening is such an important component of good communication. Without improving this it will be impossible to have better communication.  Learning and practicing real listening is the best way to have a deeper understanding of each other’s experience. When couples improve their listening they improve their communication and their connection. 

Here is an exercise you can practice at home.  One of you will be the speaker and one of you will be the listener.  The listener’s job is only to listen and the speaker’s job is to talk about an experience or subject they want their partner to know about. It can be about anything and preferably something neutral that the two of you have not historically fought about. This will help you practice the skill of listening.  

As the listener you:

  • Reflect back what you heard the person say.  “So what you’re saying it’s really important that you get to the gym 5 times a week”. 
  • Ask questions to learn more, be curious.  “What is it you like about working out?”
  • Act as if you are a reporter, learning about something you know nothing about.
  • Don’t try to solve anything or input your own perspective or thoughts. 

One other very important shift you want to try and make when working at listening is to not personalize what your partner is saying.  Remind yourself “this is not about me”. This is about my partner expressing themselves.  

Remind yourself, your partner is a separate person and is entitled to have a different opinion.  Focus only on learning about the other person’s perspective and don’t make it about yourself. When you are able to do this you are truly giving the other person the gift of being heard. 

True listening is much harder than you probably think because it requires putting aside your own stuff so you can deeply understand what your partner’s thoughts, feelings, wishes and desires are.  Working to understand their experience is real listening.  

Listening is a skill you need in all relationships.  If you’re working on your listening skills know that this will positively impact all of your relationships not just the one with your spouse or partner.  

If you’re interested in learning how to improve communication with your partner schedule a free phone consultation today.