by Jennifer Lehr
Special to the Sounder
I remember as a kid being upset and walking away from our home. Thoughts swirled around in my head: never get married, never have kids. Over and over like a mantra. I don’t remember the incident, but ours was a violent household where fighting was frequent, and empathy rare.
When I eventually grew up, I began to realize I didn’t know how to have a functioning relationship. A pattern developed. Fall in love. Have a great six months. Problems emerged. Struggle for a while. A new love interest arose. Break up the old relationship and start over. Falling in love was easy, but working through the difficulties that emerged in all those relationships were not.
I did get married in my mid 30’s, after series of relationships. It was a difficult marriage. After years of both individual and couples therapy, it ended in a divorce.
In the meantime, I became a psychotherapist. I had to unravel so much of my trauma, meaning making and psyche. I came to emotionally understand the imprints left on me by my parents. No longer was I in an unconscious relationship with them, compensating for their deficits. I reformed and reclaimed myself. And I participated in training after training. I studied psychology and relationships. I lived and breathed self-understanding and therapeutic process. I found I loved sitting with a person or a couple and seeing the patterns of their lives.
For me, there has been a long journey between those two places – beginning with despair and hopelessness and evolving to appreciation, wonder and joy.
I’m in an amazing marriage now. I found my soulmate; a concept I never believed in, and certainly never thought would happen in my life. Today, I am married to a man I adore.
Part of that journey is my creating WeConcile® – an online, DIY, experiential learning program for couples. I started writing WeConcile in 2009. And while I was writing it, my now husband and I lived it. It seeped into our flesh, migrated into the very cells of our bones. The spaces within both our psyches that had been filled with trauma, doubt and misunderstandings, slowly became infused with understanding, healing, and trust.
I didn’t know that as over the years I created this program, I would also be living it. I only knew it became my life’s mission – to help others escape what I had escaped.
WeConcile is an educational system. It includes 24 levels or chapters; each sequentially focused on a different learning objective. It includes experiential exercises and guided discussions. It is also a life tool. Expect to spend at least six months doing it, and for most, it will take longer. It is available by subscription at www.weconcile.com.
For therapists and clergy who do relationship counseling, we have made a coach version (www.weconcile.com/coach.html). Instead of guiding your couples without a map, you can use the WeConcile map – for free. Your couples sign up for their subscription and begin their relationship learning process. You fill in the gaps and guide them along the way.