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A Woman's Guide to Relationship Happiness



Intimate relationships are not always a stroll in the park, are they? They can feel quite challenging at times.

Relationships were the focus of my work when Pentad opened its doors several years ago. In addition, I held seminars for women. My every waking moment was consumed with these subjects. The more I dug into the depths of common concepts taken for granted, the more frustrated I became at the media's portrayal of that which was supposed to work to save relationships, or what people should do to "spice" up their love lives. So little substance, and people eat it up. Why? Because they count on the media's use of experts. They count on them knowing what they are talking about.

I also had a brief period doing commentary work for a couple of International magazines. Time and time again I was disappointed by the angles chosen in such articles, because I knew women would buy into the perspectives they were reading. Especially where relationships were concerned. I worked at providing a different perspective of deeper reflection, noticing that my advice was so often the exact opposite of the words of others in the field. I was frustrated, and I didn't have a magic bullet or formula I was trying to brand and sell.

I realize how many families are hurting out there, and children are affected in that mix. Countless tips and methods not only set people up to fail, but many end up feeling like failures. I realize the harshness of the statement, but it is my honest opinion.

I painfully sense that many are up in the lofty branches of a rotting tree, desperately attempting to paint dry leaves green, all the while ignoring the condition of the roots and trunk. I don't know. In the scheme of bigger and better, simplicity may not be fancy enough. Frilly quick solutions become mindset. They become a cultural standard, and even though people realize that they could not be further from the truth of the realities they live.

So, the other day I sat thinking about how I could turn my own frustration described above into something a little more constructive. I wondered if there was anything I could share with people that may empower them in their search for answers and help, and especially those that feel confused about the 'who is who' in the expert environment.

I think the most important piece of information people should know when faced with an ocean of methods, is the fact that those working in this field come from different academic backgrounds. This means that their perspectives, and therefore their focus and methods, are very much colored by their respective theoretical foundation.

Couple and family therapy is not necessarily considered a true science by all, except perhaps by therapists themselves. This doesn't mean that they don't wish to help as I feel many do have good intentions to do exactly that. You will find NLP practitioners working with individuals to solve their relationship difficulties. You will find specialists in personal development. You will find psychiatrists and social workers, and you will find that psychologists have historically couped as the largest group, joined by other types of therapists. Basically, the list goes on and on. Although a couple of specialists (such as John Gottman) work to elevate its status through the scientific method, couples therapy has primarily been one of trial and error. Methods are evidence-based, and not necessarily proven. Please keep all of this in mind each time a new theory or magic bullet is lanced on the market.

Twenty years of higher academic education and clinical experience within the human sciences has taught me how beautifully complex we are as human beings, and equally so in our interactions and relationships. Furthermore, having resided in countries with differing academic agendas and cultures, I admit that it easier for me to sit back and observe objectively. It is easier to uncover certain truths, and accept reality as more than good enough.

There is no magic bullet. Put the searching and consumer mindset in you aside for just a moment, and ask yourself an honest question. Ask yourself, "What is it that I really want"? Start there, and see what happens. It may take a day or so for the answer(s) to bubble up to the surface, but surface they will. 


Be well and warm regards,

Tamera Daun

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Tamera Daun©

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