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

How to work on a relationship and get good results

You can experience a 100% increase in your effectiveness by following two guidelines

When it comes to relationships, no matter how much much what you are doing makes sense, you need to ask yourself if it is working.

You know, whatever your partner is doing makes sense to him or her, too. The most obvious thing is, though, that if your relationship is not getting better, then although you and your partner both believe you are doing the right things, those things are not working for either of you. Your relationship is getting worse and will continue to get worse until you start doing things that are more effective. My clients count on me to teach them what works.

In this article, what I want to do is to help you to be more effective in working on your relationship. Relationship coaching, like business coaching, is a good investment when you don't know how to move forward. But, there are a lot of things that you can do before you get to that point. Showing love is one of them. The other is working on your problems effectively.

First, check for these ineffective methods

Being aware of these ineffective methods from the start will help you to be more receptive to doing things differently and more effectively.

The three most common ineffective ways people try to improve their relationships


Example: Trying to achieve success in one step.

Here is an example of one of the most common e-mails I get:

"My boyfriend left me. What can I do to get him back?"

Honestly, the best answer I have for them is to get coaching or counseling. But, that is not what they want. They want to know what one thing they should do today, that will result in getting their boyfriend back immediately. I know how to get boyfriends back, but it involves several important steps and can't be achieved with any one action in a single day. At a minimum, the answer will involve both increasing her boyfriend's respect for her, communicating with him in a way that appeals to his interests without being needy, resolving the problems that led to the breakup in the first place, and using boundaries to prevent a recurrence of the problems that led to the breakup. Try leaving out just one of these elements, and there will be no reconciling. At best, the young woman might get one more night with her boyfriend, but then be worse off than before.

This may seem like it just applies to this situation, but actually it is hard to think of any relationship problem it doesn't apply to. Other examples, "How do I get my wife to trust me again?" "How do I get my husband to be more interested in sex?" "How do I deal with my husband when he shuts me out and won't communicate?" "How do I get my wife to be nicer toward the kids?", etc. Whatever problem there is in your relationship, I am sure you can deal with it, even if you need to get help, but you won't be able to deal with it in one step.

The four elements that relate to most relationship problems are: boundaries, respect, communication, and cooperation (read more about that here). You need to address each of these to really fix the problem. Otherwise, they will soon recur. In fact, the problems will happen over and over again until each part is dealt with. The best bet for finding answers (multiple) for handling any relationship question is either with a book, in counseling, or with relationship coaching. No one, no matter how expert, can tell you how to do all this on one blog, website, Yahoo answer, etc. Chasing after single solution answers will just lead to more frustration or prcrastination--neither of which is helpful.


Secondly, make sure you take the right steps in the right order.

If you are sensitive enough to know that there are multiple parts of your relationship that really need to be worked on, you still may have trouble if you try to work on them all at once or work on them in the wrong order. The order is important because you can't have respect without good boundaries, you can't have good communication without respect, you can't have cooperation without good communication, and you can't have a relationship that grows without good cooperation. Working on communication while you still don't have respect will just lead to conflict, no matter how good your communication techniques are.

Here is a common ineffective approach to working on relationship problems:

It's kind of frustrating just to read through that list, isn't it? But, it makes sense to communicate about problems doesn't it? Yes, it sure does. But, if the communication doesn't go well, then it's necessary to take a step back and look at where respect is being lost, that is undermining the communication. We listen to and communicate best with people we respect. That goes for your partner, to.

If you recognize that you are in a downward spiral, where you and your partner are reenacting some kind of conflict (whether angry conflict or silent conflict), then you are most likely not working on the right part of the problem, or are trying to work on two parts of the problem at the same time. When you break things down into step by step, and take them in the right sequence, your relationship work will be easier, faster, and more enjoyable.

When you work in relationship coaching, you will use the right skills, in the right order, to have a good relationship in less time and with much less frustration

It will be easier for you because you will only need to focus on one step

Everything in life becomes easier when we break it down into achievable steps. Having a consultation with me will help you to be sure what steps you need to take for your particular situation. Then, if you wish, you can continue to work on those steps with me by getting a one month coaching package.

There is no need for conflict

You don't need to participate in conflict. Once you know what to do, your partner may need to readjust (for example, earn trust or learn to respect you), but you two don't need to fight about anything, and you don't need to walk on eggshells to avoid conflict. As your relationship coach, I will teach you how to respond to your partner's typical behavior. Your relationship will build up rather than break down.

Each step will bring you closer

The more steps you do, in the right order, the closer you and your partner will become. How close you become doesn't really depend on your partner. It depends most on your doing what is effective (the only time that is not true is when your partner is with you for some other reason than to have a relationship with you). We will make sure that you are doing the right steps, in the right order, for your relationship.

Relationship Coaching Consultations and Packages

"What to Do When He Won't Change" (self-help book)

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