Is the trip to the dentist a pleasant one for you? If you brush and floss your teeth routinely, then the next trip will probably not be a painful one. Marital counseling can be like a routine trip to the dentist. Sooner or later you have to have someone evaluate the status of your current situation. It usually will determine if the work that needs to be done will be painful or just a routine cleaning.

Recently, my husband and I started counseling with Relationship 180, an organization started by Milan and Kay Yankovich. Their book, How We Love, sells at the table during the camp weekend. I am a bit humbled as I write this blog, because a writer of the marriage blog shouldn’t have to do marital counseling, right?

My husband and I attended the relationship intensive about two years ago. We were on the brink of emotional and legal divorce, but neither one of us could say the “D” word. We were both out of steam and our hope had been depleted. We had been through probably a lot more things that would’ve destroyed our marriage in the past, but at that point we were just exhausted.

Our literal lifeline for our marriage was Relationship Lifeline. We had heard about it from a few people in our church’s life group back when life was a little simpler. Eventually the perfect storm hit and we weren’t prepared. That was when the life buoy came hurling our way and I was on the phone with Margaret.

The next month we found ourselves in the seats of the Hilton, tired and looking for something. It was just what we needed. Surprisingly, I found myself dealing with some personal decisions and mistakes that I had made prior to this season we were in. The restored hope that we were both looking for and needed we got.

At the close of the weekend, I folded in my husband’s arms and felt something I hadn’t felt in a really long time. It was enough to give us what we needed to hope again and push through the tough season we were in.

We came home from the weekend expecting change, but slowly, some of our issues began to resurface. We began to take on some of our usual habits and responses that were, little to our knowledge, etched there long before we met.

That brings me to today, and Relationship 180. Relationship 180 isn’t your typical counseling session. Relationship Lifeline I would describe as a really good root canal, but Relationship 180 would be more like a training session on why the root canal was needed in the first place and how to prevent from needing another one.

We needed both. If you have ever lost more than 30 pounds, you know that once you lose the weight, if you don’t maintain a changed diet and exercise, you may find yourself back in a larger size again.

So don’t feel bad, if you need to get some help. Relationship Lifeline gave you the boost you needed to hope again and to see each other in a different light. Relationship 180 can be another resource that will help you to continue to restore, renew, and rewrite for a better tomorrow.

By Jen Morgan