Can online marriage coaching be an effective alternative to in-person marriage coaching? Part 2
- July 29, 2023
- Posted by: Marcel Sanchez
- Category: Building a Healthy Marriage
Are you a busy, faith-based marriage professional with a growing desire to make your marriage better, faster?
Many busy business professionals want to improve their marriage but find it extremely difficult to take time out of their high-demand work schedules to work on their relationship.
In part two of our research-based article, we will continue to build a case for online marriage coaching and how it can serve as a viable alternative to in-person marriage coaching.
The importance of accountability in marriage
When accountability is lacking in your marriage, progress lacks behind as well. The coaching process moves towards increasing levels of accountability and progress. The coach serves as the facilitator in this journey. The coach prevents each spouse from deviating from their agreement.
They not only remind each spouse of their commitment to one another, but also, their unique commitment to moving the relationship forward as established in their coaching agreement. For online coaches, commitments, progress, feedback, and key notes can be documented through online coaching portals. (Allaya Cooks-Campbell, “Virtual Coaching: The Benefits of Coaching without Constraints,” BetterUp (Blog), December 21, 2021, https://www.betterup.com/blog/virtual-coaching.)
This practice is already well established in today’s most innovative organizations. It only makes sense to apply this practice to online coaching engagements to maximize efficiencies and effectiveness.
So, what happens when these busy couples grind through life at an intense pace? What happens when their relationship begins to plateau rather than grow? Often, their marriage suffers because their relationship is neglected in the process.
What I have found through years as a marriage coach is that this steady relational decline is not intentional. For the most part, it’s a subtle drift in the relationship that happens quietly, but steadily. What I’ve discovered is that many of these high-performance individuals will say things like:
“Everything is fine; we’re just like every other couple.”
“This is our time to build our careers while the opportunities are readily available.”
“We have to keep up with our business growth and work the extra hours.”
“Our family will be better off financially in the future if we make these sacrifices today.”
“Our children are resilient; they can adjust and handle the pressure.”
“We’ll take the family on a great vacation this year; that will bring us together as a couple.”
Here’s the reality. Busy married professionals tend to replace their relational drifts with more activities to do rather than with marriage coaching to reflect. The issue is not that these couples don’t want marriage coaching.
The issue for busy married professionals is not that they don’t believe in the potential of marriage coaching to reignite their marriage relationship or to help them get from where they are to where they want to be as a couple. The real issue for these busy professionals is that they don't believe they have the available time required for marriage coaching to fit into their busy and unpredictable schedules.
Clarifying The Problem: Many busy business professionals want to improve their marriage but find it extremely difficult to take time out of their high-demand work schedules to work on their relationship.
What's the solution?
My argument in this paper is that marriage coaching—although a less known practice when compared to marriage counseling and marriage therapy—should also benefit from video-based technologies available to us today as other industries and professionals have experienced in recent years. My personal belief is that the opportunity for marriages to flourish—especially busy business professionals—has not yet experienced its true potential. However, online marriage coaching can release this untapped potential and make marriages soar once again.
Why should we wait until married couples reach the peak of their frustration levels with one another and relationally disconnect before intervening to get real help? Why not leverage proactive marriage coaching while the relationship can pivot rather than wait—in complete reaction mode—for a total relational collapse?
There are so many benefits to coaching. Would these benefits not transfer to busy business professionals that want to grow their marriage? Of course, they would. Coaching brings out the best in individuals. It can do the same for couples in their marriage as well. Ken Blanchard reminds us of the powerful impact of coaching on the lives of busy professionals. Coaching evokes new skills, increased behavioral knowledge, valuable experiences, goal-orientation, self-reliance, increased responsibility, more productivity, better commitments, and higher levels of satisfaction. (Ken Blanchard, “Managing Coaching for Results and ROI,” (Escondido: The Ken Blanchard Companies, 2021), page 4. https://resources.kenblanchard.com/whitepapers/managing-coaching-for-results-and-roi.)
When both husband and wife fully commit to marriage coaching to grow their relationship, both will benefit, and both will be positively influenced by this commitment. According to Relational-Cultural Theory, in a growth-fostering relationship, both people are open to being influenced and changed by the other. (Judith Jordan, Relational–cultural theory: The power of connection to transform our lives. The Journal of Humanistic Counseling, 56(3), (2017) 228-243. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/johc.12055. (Accessed December 21, 2021).
This is the power behind marriage coaching. Not only can it bring couples together to focus on their relationship, but it can also evoke the required energy and personal will to implement new and collaborative approaches to relational transformation.
Marriage coaches can help busy business professionals by serving as “skilled coaches” in their relational development and personal growth. These coaches stir what’s uncomfortable to evoke what’s possible. As relational surgeons, marriage coaches carefully collaborate with their clients to remove the annoying obstacle of limiting beliefs while introducing new possibilities for their future.
The skilled coach will challenge clients at a deeper level by raising penetrating questions that clients never ask themselves, flipping client stories for real accountability, drawing out unexamined self-awareness, and releasing limiting factors to success. (What is Coaching? Everything You’ve Wanted to Know, (iPec Coaching) December 21, 2021, https://www.ipeccoaching.com/hubfs/What%20is%20Coaching%20-%20iPEC%20Coach%20Training.pdf)
This new awareness gives individual clients and married couples a new platform from which to evaluate what’s before them and their new possibilities.
In Relational Cultural Theory for example, mutually beneficial relationships lead to five good things: Zest – energy, vitality; Creativity – increased sense of ability to act; Worth – greater sense of self-worth; Clarity – more accurate self-awareness; and Desire for more connections. (Jordan, Relational Cultural Theory, 228-243.)
This is exactly what marriage coaching can deliver to couples. A marriage coach can laser focus on what each spouse needs and translate those needs into action. (Samantha Dewitt, “Marriage Coaching Can Save Your Relationship | Regain,” ReGain – Relationship Therapy, December 21, 2021, https://www.regain.us/advice/marriage/marriage-coaching-can-save-your-relationship/.)
What married couple would not benefit from increased passion, clarity, and action? What relationship would find fault in having more accurate self-awareness or a greater self-worth?
As married couples begin marriage coaching, studies reveal that they can expect to gain greater inner awareness and new approaches to what’s not working in their lives. What does this do long-term? Married couples improve their communication skills, they manage day-to-day life better, increase relational and personal confidence, and build new soft skills. (What is Coaching? Everything You’ve Wanted to Know, (iPec Coaching) December 21, 2021, https://www.ipeccoaching.com/hubfs/What%20is%20Coaching%20-%20iPEC%20Coach%20Training.pdf)
Perhaps, the online environment allows clients to provide information that they would never reveal in direct contact with a counsellor. (Salome Van Coller – Peter and Linda Manzini, “Strategies to Establish Rapport during Online Management Coaching,” SA Journal of Human Resource Management 18 (2020), https://doi.org/10.4102/sajhrm.v18i0.1298. Accessed December 21, 2021)
Growing your marriage is a journey not an event. With online marriage coaching and training, you and your spouse can move your marriage forward.
You can make measurable progress from where you are to where you want your marriage to be. It won’t be easy and it will require a ton of work, energy, and resources, but it is certainly worth it.
Are you looking for helpful resources to grow your marriage?
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