If you’ve ever been in a long-term romantic relationship, you’re well aware that it’s bound to go through challenging times. Even in the healthiest of relationships, there will be times of disagreement, a lack of harmony, and maybe even a strong desire to ‘get out’.
When there’s discord in the relationship, and especially when one partner is on a different page than the other, it’s easy to lose hope. But even in the midst of darkness, there is always hope, and there is always an answer.
I’d like to share with you a powerful story of hope that I recently had the honor of hearing at a 30-year high school reunion. Continue reading to learn how Julie found her way through the dark times in her marriage to the light of a promising future.
Julie and Mike were both young when their relationship began. She was 18 and starting college, and Mike was 23 and working.
Along with Julie making plans to move to Utah for school, and Mike making plans to transfer his job to Salt Lake City, their romance continued for three years before they decided to get married.
Over the years, they faced and overcame many challenges while developing themselves and their relationship in the process. They dealt with:
- losing jobs/unemployment
- new houses and remodels
- defeating infertility
- facing autism
- swimming against other hard currents in life
Throughout it all, they approached these difficulties with faith and laughter. But about seventeen years later (yes – 17!), their marriage was hit hard with Mike’s declaration that he no longer loved Julie…and even the claim that he had never loved her.
Somehow, they got through the next year and a half with a somewhat restored relationship, and then nurtured it for another couple of years until about a year ago. This was when Mike decided he really was done.
Julie was deeply hurt and confused. After ALL the work they had invested in their marriage, she didn’t understand at all where Mike was coming from.
They had three children to think about and twenty years of marriage between them, many of those years being good despite life’s various challenges.
Julie felt lost. The pain she felt was so deep, she couldn’t sleep or eat. In her darkest hour, a light at the end of the tunnel appeared, and she found hope.
Through an acquaintance, Julie had previously made a Facebook connection with a life coach named Clarissa. Within a week of Mike claiming that he wanted out of the marriage, Julie felt moved to reach out to Clarissa and sent her a message.
Within three months, Julie was actively and exclusively working with Clarissa, with the focus on her own growth and development.
Mike, in the meantime, had partially moved out. He rented a room elsewhere, and would leave late at night after the kids were in bed and come back early before they awoke.
About four months into this strange arrangement, Mike and Julie talked about finding a different house for Julie and the kids to live in.
At some point, while Julie was working with Clarissa on her personal growth, without Mike being a part of her coaching sessions, Mike unexpectedly decided to move into the new house with Julie and their kids.
Even though they weren’t working on their relationship issues as a couple, Julie’s work on her personal development had caused a shift in their connection, and Mike found himself more open to the idea of making their marriage work.
This reminds me of Christiane Northrup’s wise words: “When you change your life for the better in any way, your entire family (whether or not you have children) generally benefits. You set the tone. The well-being of the family and of society itself depends upon women becoming and remaining healthy. So you owe it to yourself to put yourself first and take the time you need to heal.”
Back to the new house…it was a fixer upper and needed lots of work. Mike saw the house as a metaphor, saying: “It has great bones, just needs some TLC.” The house is constantly evolving with their updating projects, and their relationship is too!
Not too long after Julie started her coaching with Clarissa, Mike decided that it was time for him to also start working with Clarissa, and began doing so earlier this year.
At this point, because Julie and Mike were in different places spiritually and emotionally, they agreed that they would continue working on themselves individually.
Even though they work with their life coach independently, they’ve been able to reconnect with each other as a couple. When you’re feeling good about yourself and the way you’re handling life’s challenges, it becomes much easier to connect with others in a meaningful way.
To wrap up this story of inspiration and hope, here are Julie’s own words on how their relationship stands at present:
“We still have much work to do and a ways to go. When we complete a project on our house, we say to each other and smile, “baby steps.” We know that our house is our symbol of our progress. We know it takes time and we can create it the way we want. Our relationship is the same.
We can destroy old thinking, old ways, and create new experiences, new developments, new designs in our marriage. Truly, we can! There is hope. There is opportunity for growth. You can choose and you can create!
I just love this story! Julie and I didn’t know each other, but “coincidentally” found ourselves sitting at the same table at a high school reunion earlier this month. When she openly shared with me how much personal life coaching had helped them save their marriage, I felt compelled to share her story.
If your relationship is suffering, and you feel like you’ve lost hope, please remember this story and use it as an uplifting reminder that there is always hope!
Even though Julie and Mike’s relationship was almost over, they were able to get the guidance and support they needed to create a healthier relationship with themselves as individuals. And they’ve used the strength and wisdom gained from that experience to improve their relationship as a couple. Beautiful!
Are you going through a challenging time in your relationship? Perhaps you’re the one who’s feeling the need to ‘get out’?
Whether you already have one foot out the door, or you’re trying to figure out how to make it work, you are worthy of a loving and supportive relationship. And whatever change is needed deserves to be handled with integrity, honesty and respect.
If you’d like to feel more hopeful and are ready to take a step in that direction, contact me here to schedule your free 30-minute Relationship Breakthrough Session. The clarity you gain from this call will give you a renewed sense of purpose and set you on a path toward your relationship goals. Yes – you deserve this!
Stay tuned for more mindful messages. Giving you helpful tips and exercises to improve the quality of your life and relationships!
With love and support,