A Couples Alive Anniversary


By Don Hutton

February 14, 2012 … It's been exactly one year today since my partner and I started the new Couples Alive series of workshops at The Haven. We have been married almost nine years of a 12-year relationship and I have known both the excitement and closeness of sharing our lives together … and the feeling of hopelessness finding myself distant and alone … back at old familiar places following an upset or disagreement.

It seemed that try as we might to make our relationship work differently, dedicated as we were, we couldn’t seem to move away from old habits, responses and reactions that brought us back time and again to square one where we wondered what really was going on between us.  The one thing we had going for us is we loved each other and were committed to our relationship … hard as that might have seemed at times.

However, I discovered that since taking Couples Alive I, Foundation in February last year, followed by Couples Alive II, Edge last April, a shift is taking place in how I relate to my partner. I have a new appreciation for her as a separate and different person from me, with her own process, likes, dislikes and understanding.  I find myself becoming more curious about her as an individual and what is going on for her … rather than assuming that I know more, or better or best. Even though I don’t always understand what she is about, I feel way closer to her with much more compassion than in the past. Yes we still disagree, argue and I still often find myself at my old docks, but I notice that I (we) don’t spend as much time there and I am developing a new trust or faith that we WILL find our way back to understanding and togetherness.

When I see her now moving away from old familiar places, it's way easier for me to recognize what is going on for me and let go too … and I feel a new strength … and excitement about us.  Only this is not like the excitement of a new love, rather at the rich, deeper connection of understanding and stronger base line we are building. Learning about and letting go of old habits is wonderful and I wonder now why I ever held on to them in the first place.

I am really looking forward to Couples Alive III Day-to-Day in September this year, and continuing to build a deeper understanding of myself and us as a couple.