I’m your relationship Sherpa.
I’m here to help you and your partner scale the mountain of relationship or marital happiness.
My business card actually says “marriage and family counselor,” but I don’t think that accurately describes what I do. I don’t “counsel” as in tell you what to do. I don’t have magic solutions to your problems, and I can’t “fix” the issues you’re trying to address. I also don’t bring you into my office to let you complain ad nauseam; blame your partner; or yell at, berate, or insult each other (no matter how used to that you might be).
What I do is guide you on a steady ascent. I’ll show you what, in my experience and professional opinion, is the best path up (although there is generally more than one way). I’ll offer ideas on how you might make the trek a little easier. I’ll encourage you when you get tired, and provide moral support when needed. In fact, I’ll help you in any way I can—but the one thing I can’t do is climb the mountain for you.
Ultimately, you and your partner will need to put one foot in front of the other, day after day, sweating and pushing through the tough parts with all the effort you can muster. I’ll be right there with you, but it’s still your climb. If you’re not willing to put in the time and energy, even the best Sherpa can’t do much for you. But I will do everything in my power to keep you from falling down the slope.
People don’t usually go for a stroll up the Himalayas. They climb, they claw, they sometimes slip and fall—but those who really want it and are willing to push for it do have a good chance of success. I’ve seen it many times over in relationship contexts, and I can assure you it’s quite worth the effort, despite the difficulty—or rather, if I may let you in on a little secret, because of the difficulty.
It’s not an easy climb. That’s why you got a Sherpa. We’re experts in this kind of thing. I can catch you when you slip, offer light when it gets dark, and point the way when you’re not sure where to go. I’ve been to the top with many climbers, and I try to camp out pretty high on the mountain myself. But the truth is, there’s an important way in which I am not like a Sherpa: I wasn’t born at a high altitude. I had to work my way up there, just like you—so I know what it’s like. I think that makes me an even better candidate to accompany you on the journey. I know what it’s like to be at the bottom, and how hard it can be to make progress toward the top.
In fact, I would say you ought to expect it to be hard. People don’t usually go for a stroll up the Himalayas. They climb, they claw, they sometimes slip and fall—but those who really want it and are willing to push for it do have a good chance of success. I’ve seen it many times over in relationship contexts, and I can assure you it’s quite worth the effort, despite the difficulty—or rather, if I may let you in on a little secret, because of the difficulty. Nothing is as dear to a person as that which they had to struggle for.
Yes, it can be a hard climb to the peak of relationship or marital happiness. One of the few guarantees I can offer is that it’s a good feeling up there at the summit. There is nothing on earth like the view from that altitude, the comfort of a solid, loving relationship. You can make it to the top, and I know you will love it once you’re there.
So join me, won’t you? I’m hanging out at base camp, sipping some warm tea, waiting for the next couple who want to make a go of it. Look for the guy with the velvety black hat and the little goatee on his chin. I’m ready when you are.
© Copyright 2016 GoodTherapy.org. All rights reserved. Permission to publish granted by Raffi Bilek, LCSW-C, GoodTherapy.org Topic Expert
The preceding article was solely written by the author named above. Any views and opinions expressed are not necessarily shared by GoodTherapy.org. Questions or concerns about the preceding article can be directed to the author or posted as a comment below.