By now most of us have heard the news of Jennifer Garner and Ben Affleck announcing their divorce late last week. I admit, I was sad and shocked to hear the news.
Their relationship always seemed rock solid. They seemed to support one another, co parent well and have a mutual admiration and respect for one another…well at least as much as we could see from the outside.
But that’s just it. Everything we saw was from the outside. We didn’t and won’t ever know what was going on inside their relationship. Nor do we ever really know what’s going on inside anyone’s relationship for that matter.
The truth is though, I consider myself an insider. As a couple’s therapist, I do have the continual opportunity of couples walking into my office and opening their relationship up for us to dive in and look inside.
Do you want to know what I see?
I see folks that really loved each other, but have become lost from one another.
I see folks that are ashamed that they’re SO disconnected that they need couples counseling (wild gasp, shaming look down at the ground).
I see folks that so desperately want their relationship to be joyful and loving, but they’ve forgotten how.
I see folks that are shocked that after so many years together, their love relationship still takes work.
But the most amazing thing I see is couples finding their way back to each other. I see couples dig in and do amazing healing and reconnecting work. I see couples that no longer feel ashamed when they talk about working on their relationship. I see couples that feel safe to be vulnerable with one another. I see couples that have more intimacy, passion and fun than they could have ever imagined.
And it’s all because they slowed down long enough to look inside.
You can’t get this same perspective by racing past each other. Or living parallel lives. Or posting on Facebook the smiling family photos.
Nope, you only get this perspective, This change, This success….when you dive in and work at it.
This is my invitation to all of you to dive in. Don’t assume you can know your relationship by only looking at it from the outside.
I invite all of you to slow down and really look inside your relationship. What do you see? What do you need to work on? What needs healing? What needs repairing? What needs celebrating?
And when you’re ready to take that dive, I’m here. I can’t wait to hear about what happens when you hold a microscope up to your own relationship. Because as scary as it may seem, it's truly worth it. I’m here as a resource, so please reach out to share with me.
Best of luck during your search.