Couples Therapy

Couples Therapy
Couples Therapy Sher-Martelle-Climas
Sher Martelle-Climas

Article by Sher Martelle-Climas

Sher Martelle-Climas is a Relationship Coach, Trained in Relational Life Therapy and using skills from The Gottman Institute.

Oh, the ecstasy & perfect communication of being in a relationship with another human being! Said no one ever.

It’s certainly a great goal to have – if completely unreasonable. Perhaps better to settle for ‘good enough’? But how do we build a life with someone when things have shifted from “happily ever after” to “I hate your stupid face”? If this sounds alarmingly familiar, take peace in knowing you’re not at all alone.

The fact is, it’s really a lot to ask. Relationships – all of them – are a cycle of harmony-disrepair-repair-repeat. And few of us are given great models of how to be in relationship. Those that raise us as children perhaps didn’t have perfect models of behaviour themselves. The best thing any of us can do is vow to do our work to be the best people we can be and raise up the next generation to be secure – in themselves, and in their attachments. This is called being relational. It is a way we can be in all our relationships.

So, what does it take for couples to sustain love? How can you deepen your relationship even when you and your partner disagree, fight, or let each other down? And we will do all these things.

“Intimacy isn’t something you have. It’s something you do,” says my Teacher, Dr. Terry Real, the Creator of Relational Life Therapy (RLT). “It’s a minute-by-minute practice of connecting to others through empathy, vulnerability, and accountability.” You can learn how to do this, and I can help.

In short, it’s an entirely new way to approach getting along, that requires holding ourselves and each-other in high regard. This is borne of healthy self-esteem and takes the aim to do no harm. Now, this does not mean walking on eggshells or abandoning all boundaries. Far from it, this requires taking each other on – with love.

In RLT we use what we refer to as ‘Winning Strategies’…

  1. Shift from complaint to request: Ask for what you want rather than highlighting what went wrong. You also don’t have the right to complain about what you never asked for.
  2. Speak out with love & savvy: Take your partner on, lovingly and with respect. Hold them accountable as an adult. Be constructive to establish connection & repair.
  3. Respond with generosity: Just be NICE ok? Defensiveness does not build connection.
  4. Empower each other: How can you help your partner give you more of what you need?
  5. Cherish what you have: Treat this relationship like the true gem it is. Cultivate joy & pleasure together

There are also ‘Losing Strategies’, but that’s another article.

Try this when next communicating with the one you love (or once loved): W.A.I.T – this acronym stands for Why Am I Talking? What you do is ask yourself if you are opening your mouth to say something that follows the winning strategies. If the answer isn’t an absolute YES, best to just shut up for now. It may sound harsh, but when we can dig deep and communicate with this filter on, we are acting from the wise adult (as opposed to the wounded inner child we all have inside). This is relationship salvaging stuff. It worked for me, so much that I decided to retrain & share it with others. Try it on.

With love, Sher

Get in touch

Relationship Coach Sher Martelle-Climas

I work online, with couples the world over, teaching them skills to achieve the relationship of their dreams.

Get in touch in Uganda at +256 740310629 (WhatsApp) or email:

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