Table of Contents

A Journey of Alignment and Growth –
Why I Started Evimero Couples

My Imposter Syndrome

A few weeks ago, my kids and I were sitting at the table having dinner (we still do that). We were talking about this business idea that I’ve been market testing, and they have often overheard me discussing. They knew it was about helping couples with their relationship challenges. My daughter looked at me and said, 

A Journey of Relationship Discovery and Healing – Why I Started Evimero Couples

“Dad, what do you know about helping people with relationships? 

You are divorced.” 

A valid question from the curious mind of a twelve-year-old.

And a question I’ve certainly wrestled with as the idea of Evimero Couples has bubbled up inside me

My Marriage & Divorce

A Journey of Relationship Discovery and Healing – Why I Started Evimero Couples

Let me start with the divorce part. 

I was married for seventeen years. We met in our mid-20s. Our engagement was short, about six months. Our time together before that was even shorter. We had our season of fun individually and believed we knew what we wanted. So we were ready to commit to each other. 

Our first four years were typical. We bought a house, pursued our careers, and tried integrating two different lives and backgrounds into one path forward. We had regular bumps in those first few years, but nothing earth-shattering.

Then around the 4-year mark, we decided to have our first child. A year later, her dad died. A year after that, my mom died. Two years later, we had our second child. And two years after that, my dad died. 

To say there was stress on the system was an understatement.

At about the twelve-year mark, our relationship imploded. And while it would have been easy for us to walk away at that point, we didn’t. We did a three-month “healing separation,” a time to dig in with individual counselors and work on ourselves. After that, we came together and began a five-year process of working with a marriage counselor to try and build a new, healthy relationship. 

While it could have been easy to blame the significant life events (deaths and births) on the implosion of our marriage, as we began to dig deeper, we uncovered a few unhealthy patterns were at the core of our relationship.

Our counselor recommended the book Bradshaw on the Family by John Bradshaw. Bradshaw explains the difference between a functioning and chronically dysfunctional family system. As our counselor helped us see, we both grew up in chronically dysfunctional family systems. And this was significantly impacting our ability to connect with each other. 

He also helped us understand we were both ACOAs or Adult Children of Alcoholics. A term I had never heard before. As he taught us, when a child grows up in a home with an alcoholic parent, there are three rules they internalize:

A Journey of Relationship Discovery and Healing – Why I Started Evimero Couples
  1. Don’t feel – when an alcoholic parent is in the family system, that parent often dominates the emotional energy. As a child, you are intrinsically taught that the feelings of the alcoholic are more important than everyone else’s. You are at the whim of their emotional ups and downs. So you learn that your feelings are not important. Over time you realize it’s better not to feel them at all.

  2. Don’t trust – an alcoholic parent will promise things while drunk or on a binger. Often, those things never come to pass. They either don’t remember promising to do them, because they were drunk. Or they never meant to follow through on them in the first place, again because they were drunk. Over time, you learn not to trust people when they tell you they will do something.

  3. Don’t talk about it – a lot of shame surrounds a family with an alcoholic parent. The non-alcoholic parent often bears the brunt of this. Therefore, they send a message not to share what is happening inside the four walls of your home. “Other people don’t need to know our business.” That message initially focuses on the actions of the alcoholic parent, but over time becomes the message for most things. Eventually, you learn not to discuss your struggles because they are “private.”

So these were the foundational messages my ex-wife and I brought into our relationship.

“Don’t feel. Don’t trust. Don’t talk about it.”

As you can imagine, that didn’t give us a solid foundation for our relationship. And out of that, many unhealthy patterns emerged. I often stuffed my feelings because I didn’t think they were valid, especially the “tough” ones. I didn’t open up to my ex-wife because I didn’t trust she would be there for me. And I certainly didn’t talk about what was going on with us. All unhealthy patterns that were destroying our ability to connect for 12 years! 

When we got to our counselor’s office for our first session, the proverbial cards were stacked against us. Sure, we had a lot of trauma over the eight years between our first child’s birth and my father’s death.

But more significantly, we had forty years of crisis and chaos that we were trying to unpack. And that was too much for us to overcome. We decided to move on from our marriage at the end of those five years.

My Desire to Help

A Journey of Relationship Discovery and Healing – Why I Started Evimero Couples

So, after all that, why start a business to help couples with their relationship? Aren’t there easier problems to solve? And what makes me qualified to help other people.

Through my journey and years of counseling, there are a few lessons I learned that fuel my desire to help others through Evimero Couples:

1. The desire to normalize talking about unhealthy relationship patterns.
Go back to the 3rd thing ACOAs internalize – don’t talk about it. I can’t tell you the number of times I received advice from well-meaning people that said something like, “All relationships are hard. What you are going through is normal.” Eh, not quite. Sure, relationships are challenging. But certain patterns, like the ones I described above, make relationships unhealthy. And there are thousands? Hundreds of thousands? Millions? of couples who sit in unhealthy relationship patterns, thinking, “This is just the way it is.” I desire to help normalize talking about unhealthy relationship patterns earlier in their relationship so couples can begin to ask themselves – “Is this healthy? And what can we do about it?”

2. The desire to help couples get aligned to move past unhealthy relationship patterns
Couples often think they are aligned. They live in the same house, pay the same bills, and parent the same kids. But if unhealthy patterns are at the foundation of your relationship, the idea of alignment needs to go much deeper. You both need to understand what is behind your unhealthy patterns and how you will grow out of them. Digging into this will test your values, expectations, understanding of accountability, and how you and your partner work together. This work isn’t easy. Yet, if couples take steps to get aligned on this process, the outcome can be pretty powerful. I desire to help couples understand what is behind their unhealthy relationship patterns and then help them get aligned to create something different.

3. The desire to help couples embrace growth-minded skills in their relationship
Carol Dweck first introduced the idea of a fixed and growth mindset in her book Mindset. The concept is often applied to kids in school to teach them about overcoming obstacles to achieve academic success. Or in the business world to differentiate those that climb the corporate ladder from people stuck in dead-end jobs. I am confident that the idea of a growth mindset and developing growth-minded skills is critical to developing a healthy relationship. We often take for granted that both partners are willing to grow and will work to change their relationship. Sometimes this is true. Sometimes it is not. I desire to teach couples how to develop growth-minded skills for their relationship so they can overcome any relationship obstacle.

4. The desire to help couples get aligned to find the deeper purpose for their relationship
One of the most powerful expressions of any relationship is to uncover and live out a deeper purpose as a couple. Whether you and your partner decide to move halfway around the world to start an orphanage or start a non-profit in your backyard. There is something powerful when you do it together. Yet too often, couples never discover this deeper purpose for their relationship. Or they uncover it in the latter years of their lives. I desire to help couples move past all the “what if(s)” and “can we really(s)” to find this deeper purpose for their relationship … today!

“The greatest gift we can give others is to help them not repeat the same mistakes we’ve made.”

Ultimately, my desire is to help others not repeat the same mistakes I’ve made. To encourage them to ask the hard questions, do the work to heal from their dysfunctional family systems, and dream about developing a deep connection with their partner. Something that I believe is at the core of every human. 

If you are interested in what we are doing with Evimero Couples, you can follow us on Facebook, Instagram, or Youtube. Or even better, join the email list below to stay current on what we’re up to. 

With much love, healing, and connection ….

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