"Don't tell people we went to marriage counselling!"

... said my husband, mortified that I would talk about this forbidden subject with friends and colleagues.

I thought about his comment a lot and then decided no, I will talk about it. Companies spend millions of dollars annually doing team building and helping us communicate better with our colleagues. We often enthusiastically take these programs to improve communication with people we sometimes don't even like, let alone love. Even the most uptight of leaders go through these types of sessions.

Why is it that people are so hesitant to go to or even talk about marriage counselling? It is an investment into one of the most important partnerships and working relationships of your life. Why wouldn't I be proud that I want to invest in my marriage?

We tell our employees to ask for help, we promote personal growth in business and we commend accomplishments as we improve. But all this dynamic seems to fall short when we consider non-performance based roles. There is no 'role description' for spouse, there is no annual performance review, there are no KPIs and incremental measures of success, only pass or fail; only together or divorced. Never has there been less defined expectations with so much at stake.

Then to top it all off, there is a 'faux pas' around asking for help and admitting its not working great. We usually let it get so bad until we ask for help that the effort to fix seems harder than the effort to split. But what if we used our leadership lessons such as humility, engagement and listening? What if we put as much effort into building our home team as we do our work team? What if to start, we just talked about it...

We went to marriage counselling. It was hard. It was worth it.

by Katelyn Bullock

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