By Seana McGee and Maurice Taylor
In our day, a truly successful relationship seems well-nigh miraculous, especially to those of us who fear that we’re condemned to remain forever rudderless when it comes to long-term love. Yet human beings don’t yearn for anything that isn’t possible. As a very wise person once said, miracles don’t really exist; they’re simply phenomena ruled by laws of nature that our scientists have yet to discover. Well over a decade ago, when we started as psychotherapists teaching, training and counseling couples as a team — which was also just about the moment we met — we were already convinced that such natural laws must also exist for love, that there must be a way for everybody to have emotionally and sexually deep connections that last. And we embarked on a singular quest to find those laws, hoping to introduce sanity to love.
To tell the truth, our resolve wasn’t only work-related; it wasn’t only for our clients that we began our search for the most cutting-edge information and the most effective, enduring-results-producing techniques (though serving couples was, and still is, our joint mission in life). We were also, quite frankly, mad about each other, which made us bound and determined to do everything in our power not let the gift of our own precious love fade away. Our commitment to the healer-heal-thyself ethic — which says that if one talks the talk, one had better walk the walk — also became immediately relevant: no sooner did we two therapists (ourselves veterans of several failed relationships) fall in love with each other than we had huge problems with each other! Thus, inspired both by professional research and ethics, and by the passion between us, we became adamant about figuring out this thing called committed monogamous relationship and discovering the laws that govern it.
Our research was underpinned by our eclectic theoretical orientation — a hybrid of humanistic, depth, self and transpersonal psychologies, systems theory and the recovery model — and based on our separate and mutual clinical experiences working with couples, parents and single persons in community counseling centers, schools and hospitals in the United States and in private practice in Asia, as well as on our own relationship. In fact, over the first two years together, we dated, broke up twice, got engaged, then married. Along the way, we sampled a variety of couple counselors, relationship experts and workshops. In short, as though it were a carburetor from yesteryear, we repeatedly took our own relationship apart into a million pieces and meticulously put it back together again. While the value of the techniques and processes we sampled — their power to crack open our hearts, blow our minds and set our spirits free as individuals — was unquestionable, and though many of these approaches deepened our intimacy as a couple as well, none offered the cogent relationship tenants we were seeking
To read the rest of this article, check out the Fall Issue of WE Magazine for Women http://www.staging.wemagazineforwomen.com/WEMagazineFall2008.pdf