I was having another difficult session with Cheryl and John. Their issues were complex and difficulties longstanding. Then John shockingly said, “I never met anyone like you.” Despite their problems, John had a moment of clarity, remembering why he was working so hard on his relationship with Cheryl. There was so much negativity in our earlier sessions that I sometimes wondered whether they were going to make it. Then eureka, the purpose of our work shined through like a ray of light after a storm.
I typically ask couples in the first session, how they met, and more importantly what attracted them to each other. Their answers are their love stories. The initial physical attraction quickly moves to the special personality qualities that drew them together, such as caring, having fun, easy to talk with, and similar values.
Despite dating others with some of these qualities, they finally meet a person with most of the qualities they are looking for. And what’s more amazing is the attraction is mutual. This describes a relationship that is meant to be.
Then relationships bring their challenges –managing the stress of family and work, working through differences and staying connected. These challenges can erode relationships and override the initial allure.
Cheryl and John were eventually able to resolve enough of their issues for John to again see the beauty of Cheryl’s qualities. He was reaching for the brass ring again. He felt a spark of what brought them together in the first place. His lens was no longer murky or distorted by their years of conflict and disconnection. He was beginning to feel in love again.