Couplespeak™ Blog

Keeping Agreements With Yourself And Others

Hi Reader,

I’ve had a number of psychotherapy sessions this week, mostly with couples about how critical it is to honor agreements made with eachother, and how the breaking of agreements erodes trust. The discussion generally led to the issue of promises made to oneself, and how that’s part of the whole deal. And I’m thinking, “of course, you can’t bail out on your partner or yourself! It breaks faith!”

Then I get home, it’s 10:00 P.M., and first thing I do is reneg on my promise to myself to not eat carbs late at night. Oh well, the world won’t come to an end if my butt is two inches bigger……

Then I check my emails and again notice the one about technical difficulties with my new website, requiring alot more alien, left-brained problem-solving, so my solution is to bag the whole mess, and maybe follow that fantasy of becoming a roadcrew signholder, and not have to think so much! Who ever needed a website anyway? Oh, I forgot to mention the trademark fiasco, and my quick solution for that:  I get some return calls from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office telling me time’s almost up to produce all the goods and services I’ve filed a trademark for, otherwise it’s even more money for an extension. (hidden meaning: they took me SERIOUSLY, and expect me to make good on my promise!)  What are they, crazy? My solution? Who needs a trademark anyway? Did anyone ever get killed because they lacked one? So, gentle reader, if you’ve ever wanted to shoot yourself for breaking agreements to your partner or yourself,  or even thinking about it, chances are your fancy therapist knows all too well how you feel.

Goodnight for now,
Susan Lager

P.S. Maybe I’ll surprise you and actually have that website up as promised in July:

Partner Vision

Good Evening Reader,

When you get in your car and go on a trip, if you are female you know the importance of using a map if you hope to arrive at a decent place in good time. If you are a male, chances are you don’t ask for directions, but you rely on your “internal map” to get there. Either way, it’s a combination of a vision which provides some structure, and an organic unfolding– stopping to enjoy the sights, or spontaneously taking some unexpected turns. It’s the same way in intimate relationships– it helps to have an idea or vision for what you want to accomplish together, or how you want to grow, or how you want the “rules” of your partnership to change. If historically you’ve gotten into some predictable, bad scrapes with each other, you need to have a kind of map directing you to other dynamics, fueled by negotiated ideas or pictures of where you want to end up. I’ve seen this unfold in my work with couples quite a bit this week, maybe because it’s Spring, and a time of new growth, or maybe because we’re all getting smarter about this relationship stuff.

One thing I know for sure is that partner visioning gives couples a destination, and when it’s done thoughtfully, couples establish “markers” of change which guide the way. Establishing a direction is usually a helpful thing, unless you’re blindly heading North on a Southbound road.

Hopefully moving forward,
Susan Lager

P.S. Look for more on this topic, including exercises for implementing partner vision-work on my soon-to-be-born website:

Building a Relationship With Your Life Partner

Hello Reader,

On my usual morning mad dash to the office (I never said I was a time-management expert), I drive through the intersection of Russell and Deer Street in Portsmouth. Over the last nine or ten months it’s been the construction site of a new eco-friendly Marriott Hotel. This spot used to be occupied by the “Parade Mall”, a disgusting, sprawling, pre-fab vestige of the 60’s which somehow made it’s way into the quaint, historic landscape of our beloved seaside city. I watched with glee as this monstrosity was demolished to make room for the new hotel. They blasted out a huge crater and laid the foundation, then over the next few months erected the iron skeleton floor by floor. Through the wintry rain and snow, the construction team added the wood overlay, sculpted out the windows, and day by day fine-tuned all the details until the bricklayers arrived to surface the outside, the part I was most eager to see unfold. How could they possible finish before the turn of the next century, laying brick by brick amidst the frozen New England winter? Much to my dismay, they wrapped the whole surface in canvas sheets, blowing heaters inside them while they mysteriously did their handiwork. Then Poof! One day it was all done except for some outside details like sidewalks, trees, and signs. Now, the hotel is almost ready to open for business, and I’m realizing why I’ve been so transfixed by the project. Building a hotel is alot like building a relationship. The old, defunct structures must be dismantled to make way for newer, more pleasing and functional ones. There must be a dedicated team working collaboratively day by day, regardless of the weather. A solid foundation must be built to support the entire structure. The labor needs to be divided so all the tasks can be undertaken efficiently, and in reasonable order. Some parts, like the bricklaying, are mysterious. It is a gradual feat of determination, creativity and daring. And it starts, and moves inexorably forward, with love and vision. What kind of relationship are you building?…………

Susan Lager

A New Day, A New Adventure

Hello again, reader,

As I move forward with this new project of bringing my ideas and knowledge about relationships to the internet, it’s like going on a Great Adventure to a foreign place! It is like any huge change– exciting, scary, uncertain, with lots of possibilities…

Think about any big changes you are making, and recognize that they will involve a “what, am I crazy?” feeling which may take over and derail you. Like me, you need to reconnect with your purpose, establish visible markers of the change process, celebrate them, and KEEP GOING!!! If you are part of a couple changing together, talk about it, and cheer each other on.

If you see value in the change, you’ll get there. Be patient. (I’m trying to)…..

Susan Lager

P.S. Look for me on my soon to go live website for more resources on improving your relationship.

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Susan Lager

I am a licensed, board certified pyschotherapist and relationship coach in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Through my psychotherapy or coaching services, I can provide you with skills and tools to transform your life.

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