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Couples Coaching Is Not for Everyone

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Divorce happens every 42 seconds in the United States. Roughly half of the couples who once said, “I do!” on their wedding day will end up saying, “I’m done!” in court. This is tragic, seeing as how couples coaching that we offer at Kairos is extremely effective for rebuilding trust, restoring respect, and rekindling intimacy, and many failed marriages could have been avoided had that been tried before calling the relationship too broken to save! 

Sadly, despite the unspeakable pain and frustration so many couples feel, many are surprisingly averse to getting professional help, and even if they do come around to trying, not everyone has the kind of mindset that is required for it to be successful anyway.

Here are 3 of the most common red flags I look out for couples who are not ready to move forward with couples coaching:

  • Couples Who Lack Commitment

Couples coaching is not for two people who have already decided to end the relationship unless the goal of coaching is to create a more civil and respectful co-parenting arrangement for the children. It isn’t even the right solution if only one person in the duo has already decided that they want to move on. The goal here is to strengthen the connection that already exists, as damaged as that connection may feel at the moment.

Therefore, I only work with couples who have a “whatever it takes,” “I’m ready to apply myself and do the work to save my marriage” type of attitude. The most successful couples are those who believe their marriage is worth their best effort, not the ones I have to convince them of that.  

  • Couples Who Lack Coachability

At Kairos, we’ve spent years developing strategic coaching methodologies that have proven effective. Unfortunately, if both parties in the coaching session don’t trust the coach and the guidance being offered, we obviously won’t get very far along in the process! Imagine what happens on a sports team if the teammates don’t trust the coach to guide them to the win!

In any type of learning, research shows that humility is key. Openness to receiving feedback is key. Without humility, coaching is a giant waste of time because nothing gets through! That’s because pride or ego is the number one blocker to any hope of a relationship being repaired.

The most successful couples in coaching are hands-down the best students. They welcome feedback from the coach, do the homework, and accept that stepping outside of their comfort zone from time to time comes with the territory of learning to love their partner better.

  • Couples Who Lack Grit

Grit is defined as “passion and perseverance for long-term and meaningful goals,” according to an American researcher and psychologist. Grit is the opposite of the need for instant gratification, in other words. And yet, our obsession with instant gratification is pervasive, including in the area of couples counseling.

While we can assure you that Kairos provides couples with one of the most productive and expedient processes for repairing their relationship, there is no process in the world that is fast enough to solve years’ worth of patterns and dysfunctions all in two weeks! Besides, this isn’t like taking in your car to the mechanic for repair or having a contractor remodel your kitchen, which even often takes weeks to months to complete depending on the damage! If things take time to improve, then how much more people?

Unfortunately, there are some couples who come in with unrealistic expectations, who demand instant gratification, and find anything that takes more than a couple of weeks to improve their marriage intolerable!

The average couple completes the whole Kairos process in only about 3 months. But couples who lack the basic emotional intelligence to persevere at least 2-3 months to see significant and lasting results are advised to not begin the process. Repairing your relationship goes as fast as two people are committed to working on themselves. So be patient and bring your own effort to the coaching experience.

  • Couples Dealing with Violence or Abuse

Emotional or physical abuse is something that goes beyond basic relationship challenges. Couples’ coaching may eventually be a step in the process of mending the relationship, but the abusive behaviors must be targeted first. And it is often recommended for the two parties in the relationship to separate until the abusive behaviors are corrected through therapy to keep both partners safe.

Abusive behaviors within a relationship may mean:

  • Control via threats, fear tactics, or finances
  • Physical attacks
  • Sexual violence
  • Emotional manipulation
  • Destroying belongings or property

Most often, abuse, regardless of the type, requires more intensive treatment for things like anger management, self-control, and behavioral modification. Both the abusive partner and the partner abused may need therapy or counseling.

Is Couples Coaching Right for Your Relationship?

Even though couples coaching is not the solution for every relationship woe, it is incredibly effective for the right couple. This form of direct coaching is good for people who are ready to set out on a path of growth and healing to strengthen the bond they have. If you’re unsure about whether coaching for couples is right for you and your significant other, reach out to Kairos to schedule a consultation.