Samira’s Story

My partner John and I first came to Sue when we had been together for 3 years. We had recently become engaged and were planning our wedding. I contacted Sue to ask for help with conflict resolution. Sue assured me on a telephone consultation that I would not be going back into the past during the session but that she would provide John and I with tools to handle conflict in the future.

John and I had been fighting over almost everything. I became more and more triggered and ended up saying hurtful things to John and vice versa. Instead of working through our issues together, there was constant fighting. I would often say things I didn’t mean and threaten the relationship. Our relationship was very fragile and in danger.

John was extremely sceptical of relationship counselling. We considered ourselves normal young professionals who loved each other and didn’t need help.

However, I was extremely insecure and was smothering John. I had retreated from family and friends and was consuming my partner’s life. This caused John to feel suffocated and this had a negative impact on our relationship.

John and I had an initial consultation with Sue, who informed us that we never had to fight again if we followed her advice. Sue would give us the tools and all we had to do was implement them. I was sceptical as to whether John would take relationship counselling seriously, but I was determined to try.

After our first consultation, John and I tried out some techniques Sue taught us. There were still issues. Sue mentioned that there was a program called the ‘Loving Me, Loving We’ program. John and I were not sure, with the wedding coming up, whether we could afford to invest in this program.

Eventually, it was John who approached me and said this is what our relationship needed, and we signed up for the 10-week program.

Over the next 4 weeks, John and I completed the ‘Loving Me’ part of the program. This is where I discovered that, to be in a healthy and loving relationship, I needed to love myself and have my own life alongside John’s. I was a ‘clingy’ partner who was insecure and suffocating. Without even realising, I was putting John’s needs and wants before my own and my self-esteem and identity suffered. John felt smothered as a result.

After completing the ‘Loving Me’ program, I now reframe a lot of the negative self-talk I was doing. I now know my strengths and enjoy having my own time with my friends, family and colleagues. I am happy and confident enough in myself and my identity that I can spend time away from John and feel secure knowing he loves me and shares my hopes and dreams. I now make decisions for me – not just for John. This gives John the freedom to be himself and the feeling of walking on eggshells has dissipated.

Because of Sue, I also came to the realisation that I had not yet 100% committed to John. This was not something I had thought about deeply – I had already said yes to the proposal and I thought this was enough. When I made the active decision to fully commit to my life with John, I no longer worried about our relationship. Issues and fights were always going to be resolved because we had both committed. There was no longer a threat of the relationship being over – we had fully committed to each other for life.

I accrued a lot of negative habits in my childhood and often blamed external factors for my mood or situation in life. Sue taught John and I that the only person you can control in this world is yourself. You control your reactions, you control your dreams, you control your life and how you live it. I realised the more I tried to control the uncontrollable, the more unhappy I became. I started letting go of what other people thought of me as I could not control that.

I have reconnected with my friends and family and enjoy spending time away from John. As a result, I cherish time with John even more. Although we spend some time apart, we now have things to tell each other, which helps us both learn new things and keeps the relationship interesting. John and I still have the same values and long-term goals for life.

I now know that the intention behind what John says is love and I have the self-confidence to accept feedback from John and implement it accordingly. I also know when John is triggered, as well as myself. I am better at managing my emotions and getting through them so that we can both focus on the real issues. By recognising when we are triggered, John and I can remove the emotion from the situation and get to the bottom of the issues.

I especially utilised the journaling aspect of the program – as did John. John and I found that the more we wrote down on paper – the more we realised that the problems weren’t that big. When we got back to our ‘why’ (why we were together – our relationship’s purpose), issues became manageable problems to solve rather than heated arguments. John and I knew we were on the same team and could trust each other.

There are still bumps in the road, but John and I are a lot happier and know that everything is going to be ok.

During Weeks 5-9, John and I completed the ‘Loving We’ part of the program. This is where we learnt about love, companionship, and different kinds of relationship killers.

Without a strong sense of identity, I would not have been able to handle some of the content in Weeks 5-9 as it requires a lot of self-insight and regulation of emotions. I would have been too insecure to know that John and I needed space from each other to thrive.

At the conclusion of the program, John and I still experience issues. However, we are confident in our newfound self-confidence and understanding of each other. We now have the toolkit – it is up to us to use it to build an incredible life together

John and I have come a long way and the tools and techniques provided by Sue have set the foundation for a great marriage. John and I are due to get married later in October and we have Sue to thank for helping us make our relationship thrive and be the best we can be. We couldn’t recommend her and her program more. Be prepared to do your part of the program – especially the ‘home play’. The more you put in, the more you get out of this program.

I don’t normally write reviews – but if you are like I was, upset, on the couch, trawling through Google looking for a great relationship counsellor – look no further. I can’t recommend Metanao and Sue more highly. Thank you Sue – we couldn’t be more thankful for you and your program.

John’s Story

When we first came to Sue, we were having major issues and it was all very confusing. I loved my partner very much, but I just couldn’t work out what was going on or how we could be happy. Everything that we or I tried just wasn’t working. It was really upsetting for us and everyone around us. We had so many great moments as a couple, but we couldn’t get out of this rut we were in. We were fighting between us, and our fights were becoming more public. It was really embarrassing, and we were losing control.

My partner and I were going through the highest of highs and the lowest of lows, with everyone only seeing our lows and the fighting ruining family holidays. They couldn’t keep up with us and only remembered the clashes. Everyone loved us as a couple and now there were major doubts. Family and friends got involved in our relationship. What was already hard became so much harder and you can’t blame them because it was for good reason and they had our best interests at heart.

My partner decided to seek help and she found Sue. Personally, I’ve never had or wanted to seek help before. Always felt it would be alright and weren’t at that stage yet. It took me a while to come around to it. We were saving for a wedding at the end of the year and a home. I finally came to my senses and realised that we needed to be right before any of that could happen. My partner made the best decision finding Sue and I’m glad that even though I wasn’t as fast as my partner I finally saw the light.

I also found it interesting that when I spoke to my best friend about our fighting and I mentioned we were getting counselling, he was very supportive for the idea and mentioned other couples that had also found help.  I felt like we weren’t alone in our struggles and realised how many other couples get help. Most importantly, it works.

The 10-week course is 10 weeks for a reason. It’s a lot of content. That information needs time to digest and implementing positive change doesn’t happen overnight. It takes a lot of work for each person to work at it, listen and follow the steps. It can feel like a lot of work but it’s also amazing how quickly the changes start impacting the relationship in a very positive way. It’s infectious, and if you’re in it together the relief will flood you.

Doing it with your partner and working through each week is critical. There will be times when you smash it and struggle. She will have the same. I learnt more about my partner than I had done in the first four years of our relationship. Doing it together helped galvanise our success.

You go into a relationship as two individuals, and you try to form one couple. That’s what we did anyway. It didn’t work for us. Sue helped us be free from each other to live our lives to our fullest capacity whilst also supporting one another to make a much more stronger loving lifetime partnership.

I’m happier. We have a lot more time, energy, and money. Fighting isn’t cheap, counselling is. We’ve mended our relationship. We’re no longer a talking point outside of us. We both love each other very much. We’re very excited to get married at the end of the year and start another chapter of our life.

We still fight but we have the skills and training of the 10 weeks to stay in control. These conflicts are short, we get to the bottom of them and in a lot of ways we use them to fuel or make our relationship better. We know when and how to talk to each other. I have a better understanding of why she will be behaving in a certain way.

We came to Sue during a tough time. We learnt so much that isn’t taught and you’re meant to learn along the way. Samira is my life partner and I’m so happy that we invested in our relationship. Every couple should do Sue’s program. Having done it, in hindsight I would have done it during a good time. The best sessions can be when you’re both happy and open, not closed and angry, looking forward not back.

If you want to live a happier life with your life partner, I recommend Sue. Just be prepared to work at it and know that it doesn’t happen overnight. It’s a 10-week program that can’t be summarised, even this isn’t doing it justice. You just have to do it.

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