Marriage Retreat » Retreat FAQs » Are Religious or Other Beliefs Involved?

Are Religious or Other Beliefs Involved?

John’s work is not based on religious beliefs. It’s based in practicality, from three decades of working with couples, seeing what works and what does not work. And it comes from a wealth of scientific research that shows exactly what leads couples to succeed or fail. It’s about learning practical tools that enable you to stay happy and secure together.

We respect true religious principles and our approach has been fully satisfying to the many devout couples we’ve worked with. However, we have rarely seen religious ideas alone help partners to truly recover from deep ruptures or get past stuck issues. Some clients have told us about approaches where guilt was used to try to get them to change. Or they were instructed that they simply had to “forgive” and move on.

Such advice is neither feasible to implement nor likely to stand the test of time. Real changes need to happen on a deep emotional level. And there are specific ways to process and heal ruptures that need to be used.

To stay together, couples need to clear issues and be authentically happy together. You can only get there by using effective tools to communicate in a way that creates positive closeness. Only that will change things for the better.

This is not a marriage encounter. It is not based on pop psychology or the overly simplistic ideas of a celebrity author. What you will learn is a set of effective, practical tools that work.

You will get results-oriented coaching to apply these tools to make positive changes in your relationship and resolve the issues that keep you from being happy together. And you will return home with solid new agreements and the well-practiced skills that will keep your love life on track.

Core Beliefs & Principles in John’s Work

Here are some of the key beliefs and principles that guide John in his work with couples:

  • Everyone can build a rewarding and satisfying relationship — This is true regardless of childhood, past history, or current circumstances. Two motivated, well-informed partners can change how they interact and achieve lasting happiness.
  • Being happy as a couple requires certain strategies and tools — The right tools and strategies can be learned. Regardless of age, we can always learn proven strategies that help us as a couple to maximize shared happiness and minimize upset.
  • We need to learn these key strategies now — Most of us didn’t model the right tools or strategies growing up, so we unconsciously repeat the poor strategies we saw. This is why our society has a high rate of relationship dissatisfaction and divorce.
  • Relationship problems are important opportunities — Upsets and problems tell us it is time to learn better tools to succeed. The more distressing our problems, the more deeply we can heal, and the more dramatic the positive shifts we can make.

Relationship Challenges = Key Opportunities

Seen in a positive light, relationship problems — as unwanted as they are — are what will ultimately push each of us to grow as individuals to learn to communicate better. The problems we come up against, in our meaningful relationships, ultimately move us to learn new strategies and tools — ones which will lead us back to the shared happiness we want with our partner.

You can change things for the better. It’s a matter of learning the right tools. You can develop within yourself all the resources you need to get the positive changes you want in your relationship. John’s coaching is specifically designed to help you do that.

Many couples come to John after years or even decades of being stuck. Stuck in negative emotional cycles and downward spirals. Stuck with thick emotional walls built up over time. Stuck feeling mostly upset or shut down. It is hard for them to even imagine feeling happy with each other again. One or both have considered divorce. Often working with John is a last ditch effort.

Yet most of the time, after learning the right tools and strategies for how to operate as a couple in ways that lead to security and satisfaction, partners fall in love again. That this happens so often, over only a few days of intensive learning, reinforces John’s strong belief in a couple’s ability to make a dramatic shift for the better. It also proves the effectiveness of the tools and strategies that John will help you acquire.