Book Excerpt: The Love Map by Jeannie Daly-Gunter
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If you aren’t growing together in your relationship, you are likely growing apart. The Love Map: Reignite, Reconnect and Repair Your Relationship, gives couples a blueprint to help navigate the inevitable ups and downs of love. This book is a practical guide, an engaging story, and a workbook. Unlike many of the psychological relationship books on the market today, The Love Map is a compelling ‘teaching story’.  This story follows the marriage of the main characters, Taylor and Jaymie, as they work through an ongoing conflict that has been weighing them down for a year. Sophia, Taylor and Jaymie’s marriage counselor, guides the couple through ten sessions of relationship lessons, that ultimately supports the couple in working through their conflict. Along the way, the reader is encouraged to do the relationship exercises at the end of each chapter as “home play” along with Taylor and Jaymie. This comprehensive ‘self-help story’ is endearing, motivating and practical all at once.  In addition, there are links to workbook pages and videos to support couples in integrating the lessons in the book. The Love Map has been recommended by therapists and those in the personal growth industry as a powerful resource for couples wanting to deepen their connection and create a more conscious and meaningful relationship. 

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Book Excerpt:

Can You Please Just Listen?!

Sophia waited until they were settled on the couch before she continued. “During our first session, I like to take some time for us to get to know each other. I know this is a big deal for you to reach out for support, and I’m honored that you have chosen to work with me. Did you watch the intro videos, and do you have any questions for me before we dive in?”

Taylor squirmed a bit. “Well, I’m wondering how long this is going to take and if it’s really going to work.”

Jaymie shot him a did-you-have-to-say-that look?

Sophia smiled. “That’s a fair question. Based on my experience, I recommend starting with ten sessions. That gives us a chance to create a really strong foundation of understanding and essentials for helping you communicate better, learn how to deal with conflicts over time, and experience what it’s like to work through some issues. Some couples need more sessions than that to start with, and it’s something we can check in around along the way. You can also stop at any time if you feel like this isn’t for you. Some couples prefer to meet in a long-weekend intensive and some couples like to pace this out over time.”

“That makes sense,” said Jaymie, wanting to get off to a smoother start. “I like having homework between sessions, so doing this over time makes sense to me. You know, I would love just a bit more clarity on the differences between coaching and therapy, just so we know what to expect.”

“Sure,” said Sophia. “I know we talked a bit about this on the phone, but basically I combine a lot of approaches based on what you need. In a nutshell, coaching looks more toward what you want to create in the future, while counseling or therapy excavates some of the underlying emotional undercurrents of your present conflicts. Although a lot of couples get stuck in conflict, I think it’s equally important to keep putting proactive energy into our relationships. There is a saying I heard once that, ‘If you’re not growing, you’re dying.’ I believe that is really true in love. I’d say that most couples let their relationship flat-line at some point. They’re too busy or too stressed out dealing with work and family to tend to their love. I like to think of my work as a ‘jump-start’ to help couples reinvigorate their love again.”

“I like that,” said Jaymie. “I think you’re right, sometimes we do get too busy with other things we think are more important than our relationship. That’s weird isn’t it?”

“Unfortunately,” said Sophia, “I see it all the time. There are three main reasons couples come to see me. They need to repair a conflict or betrayal, they feel emotionally disconnected and they are growing apart, or they want to breathe love back into their relationships. Successful couples are always doing ongoing work to repair, reconnect, and reignite their love.

After this introduction, Taylor and Jaymie took turns explaining their perspectives on their main conflict and how they had been arguing about the same thing for a year. Taylor began to warm up to Sophia and feel more engaged in the process.

“We love each other and want to work through this; we just aren’t sure how,” concluded Taylor.

Jaymie sighed, “Yeah, we just aren’t getting anywhere with resolving this and it’s turned into a yelling match at times.”

 

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