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Do Over!

Do Over! In his new book Do Over, Jon Acuff points out that as kids we believed we had the power to declare a “Do Over” when we wanted to start again. When we missed the mark, we’d just start over. If we miss-hit the ball, we’d yell out “Do Over” and try again. When the drawing wasn’t quite right, we’d crumple up the paper, throw it away, grab a new sheet and start again. We didn’t give a second thought to making a second attempt. Jon points out that somewhere along the way we stopped believing in the power to declare a “Do Over.” He describes so eloquently what happens -- We feel stuck. We stop opening doors. We start to think we already know where they all lead.

That describes so many couples who come to counseling. They have stopped reaching toward one another and asking for what they need from each other because they believe they already know what the response will be. And the fear of being ignored or rejected again is more painful than simply suffering in silence. In session they tell me they are “just roommates.” They live in the same place but they don’t live together. At best they are civil with one another but have no connection. More often, they bicker and belittle each other consistently. They are hurt, angry and alone. Research suggests that the average couple waits 6 years before seeking help for their relationship struggles. That’s more than 2,000 days of feeling disconnected. More than 50,000 hours of unhappiness. More than 3,000,000 minutes of feeling alone or hurt or helpless -- far too long. And keep in mind that half of all failed marriages end in the first 7 years. If you are feeling disconnected, discouraged, or defeated to the point of giving up, I want to encourage you to declare a “Do Over.”

Sometimes, we all need a reminder that we have the permission and the power to try again. It is hard work to create the relationship you want, but crafting an intimate, fun, supportive and pleasurable connection is worth the effort. It can happen. The majority of couples who see a therapist report significant improvement.

If what you’ve been doing isn’t working, maybe it’s time to declare a “Do Over.” Find a qualified counselor to help you explore new options and ideas. Get help to find fresh ways to relate to each other. Have the courage to see a therapist and create transformed connections so

you and your partner are both truly known and deeply loved.

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