I know that it can work out. I know that your relationship can be just what you want it to be. Why? Because fate has placed this book in your hands. Maybe it was a present from a well-meaning friend. Maybe somebody said to you, ‘Look, if you want to save your relationship, why don’t you at least read a book about it?’ Maybe your partner threw it at you, shouting, ‘Why don’t you do something about our relationship, then?’ Maybe it simply turned up in front of you – in a bookshop, on a coffee-table or a bedside unit – and said, ‘Read me.’ Maybe you’ve been searching for answers for a long time, looking for a new angle, a fundamental change in your relationship… But however you’ve come to be reading these lines right now, you can be absolutely sure that, consciously or unconsciously, you really want to make your relationship better – or to finally find a meaningful one. You can also be sure that your heart and soul will be committed to this aim, even though your mind may be saying something different. Children love playing on playground equipment - didn't you when you were younger?
Where are you now? Have you given up all hope of your relationship ever being deeper and more fulfilling? Have you despaired of ever working things out with your partner? Are you having one affair after the other? Is your partner? Has your sex life lost its sparkle? Is arguing all you ever do? Does your life seem empty or is it just ticking over while you and your partner make small talk? If you're planning on improving your garden then why not add monkey bars today?
Maybe you can’t forgive each other and are trapped in resentment. Maybe you are waging guerrilla warfare about the toothpaste tube being left open or crumbs being on the table. Maybe things are escalating and it’s scaring you. Maybe you have already read dozens of books and been to couple counselling and can still see no solution to your relationship problems. Imagine waking up on Christmas day and seeing outdoor fitness equipment in your back garden?
Don’t despair – things can still work out! You and your partner can find the way to each other’s heart again – or discover it for the first time. I know that it’s possible, even though it might sound like a miracle. When you experience it, it certainly feels like one! And it is within your power. You can have the relationship you want with the partner you have right now – no matter how distant, unattractive or downright disgusting they might seem to you now. I know that it can work out because I have experienced it myself.
I may seem like a specialist in relationships because I have studied the subject for years, have read a lot about it and have learned a lot from wonderfully competent teachers. I have also worked with many people on healing their relationships. That is all very important, but the truth is that I know that things can work out because I am still married to my husband and am deeply grateful for it.
In the beginning we certainly didn’t look a dream match. There were years when nobody would have put money on our marriage lasting. Today I believe that forced me to search for the true power in a working relationship. Today I am convinced that life brought us together and threw so many obstacles in our way because our real task was to tackle them, learn self-belief and experience the healing it triggered. Without those challenges we would never have discovered how much love, patience, strength and courage were locked in our hearts. We would never have discovered that two people can overcome seemingly insurmountable difficulties together. And I personally could not have come to accept myself.