Thursday, February 6, 2014

Your Relationship Home

In the two decades that I have been studying and practicing couples therapy, I have begun to visualize every relationship as an individual structure, each with its own unique blueprint, complex layout, and intended purpose. And just like any building structure or home, every relationship has pillars that it depends on to remain solid and standing. If the pillars are strong, then the home is safe, secure, and less vulnerable to internal and external threats. But if the pillars are weakened, the structure itself is dangerously at risk of collapsing.

In Rational Relating, there are five pillars that sustain and maintain the strength of a relationship in the long run.  They are:

Integrity - Having your actions consistently match your stated values, instead of saying one thing and doing another.
Communication - Practicing the art and skill of effectively expressing your thoughts and feelings.  
Compassion - Seeking to acknowledge and appreciate your partner, while minimizing possibilities of doing intentional harm.
Responsibility - Accepting that you are in charge of your primary thoughts, feelings, and sense of worth, not your partner.
Compromise - Process of releasing personal gain for the greater good of the relationship.
My job as a couple’s therapist is to teach and assist in strengthening and reinforcing their relationship’s pillars. By doing this, they can maintain a satisfying and fulfilling structure that is able to withstand stressors and traumas that can potentially weaken and damage the unit for a longer period of time. I help couples learn how to survive the big and little “quakes” that threaten the emotional structure.

In this framework, couples are neither “healthy” nor “dysfunctional.” They are neither “good” nor “bad.” They simply have pillars, unique to the two people involved, that are strong, or pillars that need reinforcing.  And like any reliable building, all pillars need reinforcing over time.

Damon L. Jacobs is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in New York, who has helped hundreds of couples and individuals create joyful, peaceful, and pleasurable, relationships. He is the author of the books, “Rational Relating” and “Absolutely Should-less.” His trainings have helped thousands to learn practical skills for living an empowered and fulfilling life. To speak with Damon about counseling, speaking engagements, or media appearances, please contact Damon at, call 347-227-7707, or visit

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