How do we set boundaries with within our families?
A marriage is more than a relationship with a spouse — it is the uniting of two families and the creation of a new one. It can be complicated trying to set boundaries with the in-laws as you start growing a new family with your spouse. How do you manage everyone’s expectations around holidays, birthdays and family traditions? These are common challenges, and in fact, a recent study found that over 60% of couples felt that friction with their in-laws caused them long-term stress. But while these struggles are common, we believe that they are far from inevitable. We can help you learn how to create balanced, stable and happy relationships with extended family that will bless your marriage instead of strain it.
How do we bring our families together?
It’s becoming more and more common for men and women to enter into second marriages with children from their first marriage, but that doesn’t make it any easier. This dynamic brings new and unique challenges for your blended family—how do you teach your children a new set of rules based on compromises with your new spouse? Will you share authority in parenting matters? It can be challenging for stepparents to earn the respect and love of stepchildren that were subjected to a painful divorce. Holidays, family gatherings and special events provide a whole new set of challenges to navigate. While all of these tests can certainly be stressful for parents, the most vital matter is providing a safe, loving atmosphere for the kids who run the risk of being caught in the middle. We can help you create the unity and boundaries necessary for the best possible environment for your kids, and teach you the skills you need to bring together a blended family with affection instead of tension.
How do I co-parent with my prior spouse?
Some separated couples prefer to go their own ways and never speak again. But as a divorced parent, you don’t have that option! Your children are going to need you to co-parent and communicate in a healthy and non-toxic way. We know that there’s probably pain and baggage between you, but when children are put in the middle of their parents’ conflict there are severe and long-term negative effects. That doesn’t have to be your story, though. Relationship Lifeline will dramatically change how you parent and interact with your ex as you learn how to create a healthy environment for yourself and your family.
How do we merge two lives into one while staying healthy?
Getting married can be one of the most exciting times in your life, and the merging of two lives is well worth celebrating! But life as a married person is very different than single life, and you may find that transition is filled with challenges that you didn’t anticipate. You’ll have to come to agreement on how the two of you will live together—roles and responsibilities around the house, finances, what your relationships look like with old friends, how you spend your free time, etc. Are there right and wrong answers? Where should the boundaries be drawn in order to protect both the sanctity of the marriage and the health of the individuals? We can help you and your spouse learn the skills necessary to minimize conflict and ensure your needs are being met as an individual as well as a couple.
So what’s this going to look like?
Life is an exciting journey that takes your relationship through many phases. Whether you are starting a family, transitioning to a new phase in life, or just never took the time to talk about how to live as a couple, developing expectations will help avoid trouble later. We can teach you how to effectively communicate your needs and fears so that your family can be prepared for all the ups and downs you will experience together.
How do we move forward after an affair?
Nothing rocks a world in quite the same way as the discovery of an affair does. It feels like a punch to the gut. Like a world falling apart. Where do you possibly go from here? How do you move forward? Moving through a betrayal is in no way easy, but we can walk with you and help guide you through the process. You may choose to stay together or separate, but we can help you to make that critical decision from a healthy place rather than a wounded place.
Can we build back trust after this betrayal?
The emotional intimacy between a couple can be just a sacred as the physical intimacy. We know that a spouse forming an emotional connection outside the marriage is a very real betrayal, and it can be absolutely devastating. It’s likely the symptom of deeper issues within the union, and can be an indication that one of you is checking out. We can help you discover the root cause of your issues and walk you through the process of healing from this betrayal, leaving your relationship stronger than ever before.
How can I learn to trust again?
Trust and security are foundational in any relationship. No matter what the context, when a spouse betrays the other it can be devastating to the relationship, and very difficult to overcome. What would it even look like for trust to be rebuilt? What steps can be taken to get there? Going through life without integrity and going through life with constant fear of betrayal are both devastating, so the most important thing is to take the necessary steps to heal, and We can help you– both for the sake of this relationship, and for the sake of all the other relationships in your life.
Can your partner be your shelter in a world of storms?
Maybe your marriage is fine, good even, but you just don’t have that sense that you are each other’s safe harbor—the place where you know you can bring the secrets of your heart and your deepest fears and insecurities, and know that you’ll be met with love and understanding. Maybe you can’t seem to find the right way or bring up the challenging topics. Maybe you’ve tried, and it didn’t go so well. Maybe you’re scared you’ll be met with judgment instead of empathy. We can help you develop the skills necessary to have those important talks and cultivate that sense of refuge, both throughout the weekend and thereafter.
Can I feel happy and whole again?
Uncertainty. Fear of abandonment. Overreacting. These are just a few of the possible issues that can grow out of a history of emotional abuse. Emotional abuse can be just as serious as any other type of abuse, triggering anxiety, depression, or even post-traumatic stress disorders. Whether we bring this baggage into our current relationship or have recently encountered it, the kind of emotional climate can slowly squeeze the life out of any relationship. But the outlook doesn’t have to be grim: there is hope. We can help you find healing from emotional abuse, break the painful patterns that have resulted, and learn to set boundaries to prevent it from happening in the future.
Are you really hearing each other?
Good communication is the cornerstone to building and maintaining any healthy relationship. It creates a sense of intimacy that can be shared throughout a lifetime, and it’s nearly impossible for any relationship to thrive without it. Whether you would like to improve your conflict resolution or experience a deeper connection with your spouse, you can achieve it through communication. Thankfully, it can be learned! We can help you develop your communication skills so that you and your partner can establish and sustain a relationship filled with closeness, love, and respect.
Can the cycle be broken?
Statistics show that roughly 1 in 10 adults abuse substances. The effects of these addictions cost our county over $400 billion a year in crime, lost productivity and healthcare… but the impact on marriages, children, and other relationships is immeasurable. Few things can ravage a family and devastate loved ones like substance abuse can, and the impact on children can last long after they leave home. And with the plethora of issues that addiction leaves in its wake, working through the pain can feel almost impossible for a family wondering where to even begin. We can help you. We work with couples and individuals who are facing addiction issues to understand the root of how we self-medicate through addiction, and how relationships can heal from the emotional damage.
How can my partner do this when they knows it hurts me
Statistics show that more than 12% of all Internet sites are pornographic. Every second, more than 28,000 users are viewing pornography. It is a $4.9 billion industry worldwide, and growing. But when your partner is struggling with this addiction, it hits so much harder than a statistic: it’s personal, deeply painful, and can even feel like a betrayal of fidelity. It can have a very real effect on intimacy, both in the bedroom and beyond it. What can you do? How can the addiction be broken? How can trust and intimacy be repaired? We can help couples and individuals who’ve been damaged by pornography addiction to understand the root of behavior, and guide them through the process of healing from the damage.
Is your anger out of control?
Do you find yourself or your partner snapping? Escalating unreasonably quickly? Do you find yourself or your partner has a pattern of defensiveness, passive-aggressiveness, or critical behavior? You could be dealing with unresolved anger issues. Anger is a powerful emotion that can keep you from happiness and destroy your relationships. Uncontrolled anger can highjack your conversations, prevent you from resolving issues, and taint otherwise beautiful life experiences. We work extensively with couples struggling with anger problems, and we can help you resolve the underlying issues and move towards more loving, fulfilling relationships.
Do you miss that special closeness?
That spark. That connection. That desire to be close. Maybe it came easy when you first started dating or were newlyweds, but now it’s like there’s a space between you, and you’re not sure how to get through it. Maybe your needs for physical intimacy aren’t being met, or maybe it’s emotional intimacy you crave. If the stresses and demands of life have left no time for maintaining your connection, there are many ways to rekindle and sustain a passionate relationship. We help couples rediscover their connection with each other, and recapture intimacy in their relationship. We can help you.
Should we choose each other for life?
Although you may feel a deep connection with your significant other, how do you know if you’re compatible for a marriage that will last? Perhaps you’ve already had to work through some issues together, or maybe you’ve just enjoyed being together through the early stages of the relationship, but either way, marriage is going to require a deeper level unity than anything you’ve experienced before. How can you know if you’re making the right choice of a life-long partner? We help couples understand themselves, and each other, at the deeper level necessary to evaluate their long-term compatibility, and we can help you.
How do I move on?
Lingering anger. Resentment. Wounds that haven’t healed. It may be over, but have you done the work that’s needed to move on? Many times, children and other family members are caught on the battlefield of unresolved issues from relationships that have ended. Without closure and a healthy plan for moving forward, many people remain bitter and in pain, which has a negative impact on you and all the rest of your relationships. We can help you find a healthy way to resolve the issues remaining in your life, so that you can find greater peace and fulfillment moving forward.
Will I always hurt like this?
Life can be absolutely beautiful, but very few of us make it through without some scrapes and bruises along the way. Whether you were hurt in a prior relationship, forced to live with unfulfilled needs, or life threw you a curveball from which you can’t seem to recover, you might be trying to get through with the pain of an open wound. You might have a burden that you carry the weight of daily. Maybe it’s something that you’ve never admitted to another person, or even to yourself. Whatever it was that wounded you, you don’t have to walk through life this way. We can help you identify the root causes of what’s holding you down, and guide you through a healing process to reclaim the vibrant and fulfilling life that you desire.
We’ve tried everything. How could this be different?
So you think you’ve already tried everything available to repair your marriage. Books, seminars, therapy… if someone names it, you’ve done it. Maybe you saw a short-term improvement with counseling, but you quickly reverted back to old patterns. Maybe you’ve tried other marriage programs, but the benefits were minimal and you didn’t find the breakthrough that you need. You have not tried everything if you have not tried Relationship Lifeline. We’ve helped hundreds of couples like you: couples that were at the end of their rope and who, despite their best efforts, had no hope in sight. We are a research-based program that uses unique, interactive, and experiential exercises to facilitate true personal growth, empowerment, and healing for individuals, couples, and families, and we can help you.
How well do you know yourself?
There is no one else quite like you. You are a unique individual who has been developing over time and through all your life experiences. Your mix of hopes, dreams, fears, quirks, habits, personality is unmatched… but have you really taken the time to really get to know and understand yourself? Do you ever find yourself asking why you behave a certain way? Focusing internally to increase self-awareness will help you understand what shapes your perspective, why you react as you do, and why other people “just don’t get it” when something seems so clear to you. Understanding yourself will revolutionize your behavior and relationships will others, and we can help you! We will guide you through a process where you and your spouse ill come understand yourselves individually, understand each other, and learn how to more effectively grow together throughout life.
What if I don’t want to forgive? What if I can’t?
We tend to think of forgiveness as something done on behalf of a person who wronged us, and it can be that… but it’s also so much more. Forgiveness can also be for you. Forgiveness is about freeing yourself from the tremendous pain and overbearing weight that you’ve been carrying since you were hurt. Forgiveness in undoubtedly hard, but when it’s done truly, it can be immensely powerful to the point of feeling miraculous. It’s really about allowing yourself to heal and move forward in freedom—even if confront or reconcile with those that hurt you isn’t an option. We can help you understand the forgiveness process as it focuses internally on your health and future, instead of dwelling externally on others. We can help you let go and be free.
How can I accept love when I can’t accept myself?
Do you feel unworthy? Unlovable? Do you struggle with the desire to shut down or run away? You may be struggling with shame. We all make mistakes, and sometimes your actions may fail to meet the standards that you set for yourself. Guilt is a healthy feeling of regret for something that falls below those standards, and a healthy reaction. Shame, on the other hand, is the unhealthy and harmful conviction that you yourself are bad, and the debilitating weight of it makes it very hard to break toxic cycles. Shame might even have come from the actions or words or someone else, and it may be so deeply embedded that you don’t even recognize it yet. Whatever has caused it, we can help you recognize if you are carrying shame, and guide you through the process of releasing it from your life. We can help you live free.
Facing the Future
Will you stay unified when the game changes?
We can never quite know what’s going to happen in life, but one thing seems to remain true: it’s so very rarely what we expected. Sometimes things happen that we never saw coming, and it can feel like the ground is shifting beneath our feet. What happens to your relationship during those times? Many marriage workshops teach the skills to help people deal with the past, but leave it at that. Relationship Lifeline provides a deeper experience that leaves you with the foundation and expertise that will allow you to be confident in your ability to face anything that comes your way—together. We can help you build a skillset to improve your ability to anticipate, react, and effectively handle life’s uncertainties in the context of your relationship.