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5 Questions to Heal a Relationship

“What do we do next?” is the last question to ask

Illustration of couple dancing on colorful horse above city

Riding the Horse of Life by Chris Hagan

Here’s some easy pillow talk: A DuPont marketing study once revealed that the period of time it takes for a person to actually buy a new pillow after he or she decides that a new pillow is necessary is typically two years. Why? Because we get attached to the pillow, inertia takes over, and so we continue to sleep on it—long after it’s a pain in the neck. But when two pillows are involved the problem can get much more protracted. According to relationship researcher John Gottman, who has studied marital stability for 40-plus years, by the time a couple chooses to get counseling, at least one of the two has been in relational distress for an average of six years. That’s a lot of pain. The upside is this: one painful pillow will never get better, but two pillows just might.Of course there is a reason that couples often don’t seek help until the situation is dire, and I always warn clients upfront that, whatever discomfort got them through my door, they should be prepared to feel equally, if not more, uncomfortable as they shift away from the status quo. Many clients come hoping to get answers. What they le …

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Relationship AdviceSelf InquiryCouples

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