Relationship help is the fast track to happiness
When I first needed relationship help, my marriage was falling apart. I was offered a card by my attorney, and I imagined that it would lead to a chintzy office, in which I would have to face serious facts which would make me feel several times worse than I already did.
I mention this, because I think overall this whole business of providing relationship help, or couples therapy, couples retreats – whatever you want to call it – carries with it a bit of a dowdy air. You might go to a pre-marital class because the church or temple demanded it, and like me, snigger at how inexperienced in relationships the old fogeys who presented it really were. And do they really expect us to do that!! Hell no, we’re young and we really know what love is, baby.
Or later on, when the love feels tainted, even the pain of loneliness whilst sharing a home seems preferable to visiting some well meaning folks with all the answers to how to have a happy marriage. You might fear that they would demonstrate this by endlessly smiling at you and each other, obliging you to renounce your vow of non-violence.
There’s all this amazing relationship help out there, but so few take advantage. They divide their homes, children and pets, and go to live with new partners who turn out to be even worse. Am I sounding cynical.
Then I read this great quote in “The Geography of Bliss” by Eric Weiner. Its from a Buthanese politician who says “Happiness is Relational”. Weiner travelled to the world’s happiest places and told WorldHum that “Many countries around the world seem to grasp this notion that happiness is relational—that we derive much of our joy from our connections to other people. In America, I think, we have lost sight of this and today view happiness as a strictly personal state of mind. I think that is a mistake.”
What was that Eric? “We derive much of our joy from our connections to other people”. That’s his conclusion from traveling the world and talking to all the happiest people.
So maybe that creates a new way of looking at the business of relationship help, couples counseling, therapy and all that jazz. This isn’t about problems – its about the opportunity to be amongst the happiest people in the world. Imago isn’t really offering couples just the opportunity to solve some problems, but to more deeply connect, and in the way that makes the world a richer, more rewarding place.
So – next time you see an opportunity to attend a couples retreat, think of it simply as a great way to increase the amount of happiness in your life. Bring your friends too.