About Coach Jack e-mail
Jack and Toshie Ito

Books and Help from Coach Jack Ito PhD

Dr. Jack Ito's Book

What to Do When He Won't Change

connecting through yes book

Connecting Through “Yes!”


build love with communication

Building Love through Better Communication: 5 Free Lessons for Women


communication e-book

Back in the Picture: The Man's Guide to Better Communication in Marriage and Committed Relationships

When is a Marriage or Relationship Over?

Giving up on your relationship too early is a lot sadder than taking the time to make sure


People don't end their relationships because of problems

They end their relationships because they can't find solutions to their problems. Every relationship has problems. When the problems are frequent and/or severe, people come to one or more false conclusions.

False conclusions:

After coming to one of these false conclusions, people begin to emotionally and physically pull away from their partner. They fight less, and become less concerned about the differences in their relationship. Their partner may even feel like things have improved, since there is less conflict. What this looks like in a relationship is a long period of conflict, followed by peace and a lack of interaction. Then, wham! One partner leaves the relationship. If both people were preparing to leave the relationship, then the breakup may go well. If not, one partner will be shocked, angry, and hurt, while the other has no desire to reconcile.

"I don't understand why you call them false conclusions."

They are false conclusions because they are based on two false assumptions. When what we assume is wrong, the conclusions that we come to are also wrong. That is the danger of assuming things about our partner. Here are the false assumptions that lead to the above false conclusions:

False assumptions:

In every relationship, whether between parent and child, brothers, sisters, or lovers, love will shift from weak to strong, strong to weak, and sometimes not be there at all. It is even possible to temporarily hate someone we have a relationship with, and then later love them deeply again. You can probably remember when that happened to you in other relationships, or as a child. Lack of love is not the problem. Lack of love is a result of the problems. As soon as people end their relationship problems, the feelings of love come right back. And often, they come back more intensely than before because each partner has been love hungry for some time. My coaching clients often experience this return of love by the end of their second week of coaching.

"But, we have done everything we can to overcome our problems."

In working with my clients, I have never found that to be true. In my experience, couples know only one or two ways to deal with conflicts, even when they have already been in counseling together. And when those one or two ways don't work, they try them again, and again, until they come to the conclusion that the relationship is hopeless. Of course, this doesn't just happen in relationships. It happens for people who do poorly in school, for people who don't do well in job interviews, for people who try to find a partner, and so on. Yet, the fact is that other people are doing well at all of these things. And, many other people also have overcome the kinds of problems you have in your relationship. It's not that your problems can't be solved--it's just that you are not using the right way to solve them. No matter how much you believe in your way of overcoming problems, you need to admit that if they aren't working, they are not helpful methods for your situation. It's just possible (actually probable) that there are ways for you and your partner to become close again.

Please allow me to share a personal example

I learned a very valuable lesson in my first year at college. It has helped me throughout my life and I want it to help you, too. I was a good high school student, but unprepared for the highly competitive college environment. I had a "D" average. I wanted to be a doctor, and all my dreams were tied to that. So, I felt very worried and sad. My way to deal with it was to try extra hard. I studied many hours more than my classmates. I thought if I just tried hard enough, I could do well. I knew I could do it. But, one semester later, I was kicked out of college for low grades. My grades never improved, no matter how much effort I put into it. It wasn't a relationship, but maybe my feelings were similar to how you feel now. But, as Paul Harvey says, let me share with you "the rest of the story..."

Browsing at the bookstore, soon after being kicked out of college, I found a book called "How to Succeed in College." The book was full of practical advice for how to take notes, how to read textbooks, how to take exams, etc. I had taken notes, read my texts, and studied, of course, but not like this book had said was important. I decided to start college over (at a different school) and use every one of the methods in that book. What a difference it made! I remember one professor calling me into his office and telling me that he never had a student from Vermont (my home state) do as well in school as I did. Long story short, I went on to get three graduate degrees and have some prestigious positions, including becoming a professor myself. Please don't miss my point--when you try and fail, no matter how hard you try, it only means that you were not trying the right things. That principle has guided me ever since.

What I do as a relationship coach

I have found over and over again, that helping people to learn just how to deal with their problems makes a big difference in their lives. I recently published a book for women who have very difficult husbands. It is my hope that just like the college prep book I bought, that it will make a real difference in the relationships of many people. I was a marriage and family therapist for years, but shifted into coaching so that I could place an even greater emphasis on skills training than I could as a counselor. It was always the skills that made a permanent difference. I am not trying to put down counselors, they do teach some skills, while also skillfully dealing with a variety of psychological disorders--it's a tough job. What I am emphasizing is that you don't really know what can happen until you learn how to really make it happen, and do it.

In my experience, there is only one reason that relationships must end

  1. One partner leaves and refuses contact, or starts another relationship.

Another reason that almost qualifies is that the couple have become too burned out to try anything new. But, that makes things more difficult, not impossible. In such a situation, we have to deal with the burnout first. Like everything else, there are good ways and bad ways to do that.

Most of the people who visit my site won't be able to afford coaching, though some can.

I truly wish I could help everyone for free, but I can't do that. If my site, or my books,or my coaching help you to learn something that you can use, I am really glad. My clients often send me messages long after they finish coaching, telling me how helpful coaching was and how their relationship is still going well. Besides my wife and family, that is what really gives meaning to my life. Thank you for reading this page. Please don't give up, but don't keep trying things that don't work. It will just frustrate you and burn you and your partner out. Get whatever kind of help you can to learn how to effectively deal with your relationship problems, so that you and and your partner can love each other again.

Real hope comes with real help, no matter what you are learning to do

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