Hire Me as Your Relationship Coach and Let’s Bend Some Spoons

coach mike gundy

I’m a man! I’m 40! (Almost.) But this isn’t a joke. I seriously provide coaching services now. Drop me a line if you want to talk about it. I promise to smile more than Mike Gundy. (Image/USA Today)

“Wait. What?!” you might be thinking.

I get it, because that’s exactly what I said to relationship coach, speaker and writer Mark Groves when he told me I needed to be coaching during a phone conversation a few years ago.

But on a much more recent call a few months ago, he said it again, only it sounded slightly less insane this time.

I’ve worn my NON-expertise like a badge of honor throughout the years writing here. I’m one of those idiots who thumbed his nose at formal schooling after earning a bachelor’s degree, because I always believed I could scratch and claw my way to wherever I wanted to be, career-wise.

While I was misguided to wholly dismiss formal higher education, there’s no denying that the reason certain people (my mom and like three other people) care about things I write or say—isn’t because they think I’m especially smart or insightful—but because the things I write and say sound a lot like THEIR lives. We’re all just running around trying to make sense of our lives.

And I have a built-in secret weapon to connect with others that I never had to earn. All I have to do is tell the story of my marriage and divorce, and then it accidentally sounds like millions of other people’s lives because there isn’t anything extraordinary about me or my life at all, and my crappy marriage is statistically likely to be a lot like your crappy marriage.

And all of the well-meaning and mostly decent guys out there who sort of feel like lousy husbands? Hey, welcome to the club. It sucks in here and drink service is slow. Let’s get out of here.

You’re me. I’m you. We’re us. It doesn’t have to be weird unless you make it weird.

I can sometimes help guys whose experiences are a lot like mine were. And I can sometimes help women whose experiences are a lot like my wife’s were.

Here’s the thing I didn’t understand until Mark beat me over the head (with coolness and kindness, as he does most things)—I don’t need to fit some predetermined mold to be a relationship coach, or to be magically qualified to help people transition through divorce or a bad break-up.

I’m me and I can’t be anyone else. And once I embraced the idea that I don’t need to live up to some magical standard—that all I had to do was be me and give everything I had to trying to help people in this very specific and deeply personal way instead of the more general way I experience when writing about it?

I finally embraced the idea fully. I’m really glad that I did.

‘You, a…Coach?’

Totally.

And while I wouldn’t have had the stones a few months ago to tell you with any confidence that I can legitimately help anyone, today I feel blessed to tell you that I can.

Several people have asked me to work with them, or someone they love, in a formal coaching capacity over the past four or five years. I have always declined.

I’m not a licensed therapist. I’m not a counselor. I’m not any kind of guru.

I’m just a guy who’s pretty good at asking the right questions and not being a judgy prick about it. I’m just a guy who cares about human beings. I don’t have to pretend to care about the people sharing their painful stories and secrets with me. I just care.

Sometimes when things hurt a lot, we just need someone to care. Turns out I’m pretty good at that. And sometimes, when two people care about the same thing and work on it together, extraordinary things happen.

>> Learn more about Relationship Coaching & Divorce Support with Matthew Fray here. <<

‘How Does it Work?’

Well, someday when I have a big-boy website (soon-ish), the Relationship Coaching & Divorce Support page will have online forms where people can apply directly from the site.

Currently, we do it this super-sketchy way where you email me (MBTTTR@gmail.com) with “Coaching Request” in the subject line, and then I send you a questionnaire to fill out, and if afterward we mutually decide to proceed, we’ll schedule video chats or phone calls and get to work.

‘Will I Cry Like Will Hunting?’

God-willing.

It’s not your fault. It’s not your fault. It’s not your fault.

Just kidding. It may totally be your fault—or better stated—something you have the responsibility to do something about. Personal-growth efforts are challenging. They’re hard. They force us to stare at ourselves in the mirror and answer uncomfortable questions. They force us to make new choices every day. Uncomfortable choices that don’t always provide the immediate gratification we subconsciously seek from our old, comfortable choices.

Remember that little bald There is no spoon kid from The Matrix? When he drops mad knowledge on our hero in waiting?

spoon-boy-matrix

(Image/Warner Bros.)

Little Bald Kid: “Do not try and bend the spoon. That’s impossible. Instead only try to realize the truth.”

Neo: “What truth?”

Little Bald Kid: “There is no spoon.”

Neo: “There is no spoon?”

Little Bald Kid: “Then you’ll see that it is not the spoon that bends, it is only yourself.”

That junior-sized monk knows what’s up.

We’re all looking for secrets. Whispers that upon hearing them will magically transform our surroundings. Shortcuts. Fairy dust. An easy way.

But I prefer to dabble in as little bullshit as possible. Coaching is not about sharing secrets. As my friends Jay and Lori Pyatt taught me, coaching is about shining a light in people’s blind spots—helping people discover things hiding in plain sight.

The world doesn’t change. The way you look at it does.

Your relationship doesn’t change. The way you show up in it does.

But, the spoon STILL looks and feels like it’s bending. And you can do it if you want—if you only realize the truth.

‘Okay, Matt. Piss Off. Surely There are Better Options.’

Probably!

These are really smart human beings that I have a personal relationship with, and all of them bring infinitely more expertise and experience to the table.

Self-work is hard stuff. That’s why we turn to others for help. And each of these amazing people can help you. Seriously.

  • Mark Groves (Relationship coach, Connection specialist, Speaker)
  • Lori Pyatt (Specializes in helping women work through relationship betrayals)
  • Jay Pyatt (Specializes in helping men rebuild trust in relationships suffering the fallout of betrayals like porn use or affairs)
  • Dr. Ali Kravit — (Specializes in ADHD, and helping couples and individuals navigate ADHD in relationships)
  • Melissa Ryan  (Colorado-based licensed relationship counselor specializing in Adventure Therapy – student of Terry Real
  • Lesli Doares — (North Carolina-based licensed marriage & family therapist)

This is a new life adventure for me. The safety of the keyboard is gone. Real human beings with real, high-stakes problems, and no way of knowing where the conversation might go.

And I used to be afraid of that, because I was trying to bend that stupid, stubborn spoon. And then I realized the truth.

I don’t know whether I can help you. I don’t know whether it makes sense for you and I to work together.

I only know that we’ll be able to figure it out together. And probably some other helpful things as well.

Wishing everyone a very happy, peaceful and blessed holiday season wherever you are. Love you guys.

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28 thoughts on “Hire Me as Your Relationship Coach and Let’s Bend Some Spoons

  1. Janet Ramsey says:

    Hooray!!! You will make an amazing relationship coach and I’m thrilled to hear you are doing this. Happy dance over here!!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Well Matt, I for one approve, and I know I will sleep quite well knowing you are someone’s relationship coach. People should hire you, I think they would be greatly blessed.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Matt says:

      That means a lot, IB. We’ve been having the same convo for several years now, you and I. This is a way to take another step.

      Still very early, but this has been a deeply enriching experience so far.

      Thank you for being so supportive through the years here.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Alice says:

    This is fantastic! I think this is brilliant!! Congratulations! 🎉🎊🎈Good luck!! I think you’ll be one of the best!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Morgan says:

    Wow, Matt! This is truly fantastic, and I’m so happy for you! And proud of you, in a sort of “I’ve been reading your posts for years now” sort of way… I’m super glad you put your big boy pants on and stepped up to the challenge, as I hope many of your new clients do! You have such a unique, genuine, fresh approach/take on something so (unfortunately) common. You have so much to bring to the table- and have helped me (and my dear husband) SO much.
    I honestly wish only the best for you! Xx

    Liked by 1 person

    • Matt says:

      Really nice to read. Sincerely. Thank you for paying attention this long and caring enough to say something. I hope you guys have a beautiful holiday season. Cheers to you both.

      Like

  5. The Guat says:

    This is such a great move on your journey!! You have provided constant moments of awakening with your stories and advice. I know there will be many people out there you can help. Congratulations!

    Like

  6. jbrookeb says:

    Congratulations, and FINALLY! This is very exciting news worth celebrating, so I brought beer and pizza! 🍻 🍕🍕🍕

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Mike says:

    What? More competition in the marketplace? Curses!

    Joking aside, I wish you the best of luck, and hope you will still have time to make the occasional great post here! I’d love to know how it goes.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Matt says:

      No danger of being overwhelmed anytime soon. Thank you for the kind well-wishes. I don’t think your PhD or PsyD and my idiocy are in any legit competition with each other, but I’m flattered by the joking suggestion.

      Like

  8. Jay Pyatt says:

    Matt,
    Thanks for the shout out.

    Welcome to the wonderful world of watching life change from the front row. There is nothing better…as a vocation.

    Cheers and all that.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. gottmanfan says:

    Congrats Matt!

    I applaud your courage to put yourself out there to help
    people. Leap of faith man! I admire that.

    I am sure you will make a positive difference as a coach since you have already changed people through your blog.

    Some of my favorite relationship experts (like Gottman and Tatkin) became “experts” after a painful divorce drove them to figure out how good relationships work. And then help others.

    Proud of you. ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    • Matt says:

      I didn’t know that, but I like that I now do. Thank you very much. It’s been good so far. Scary and good. Which in a lot of ways, are often the ingredients to the best things.

      Grateful for the kind words. I wish I could take all of that knowledge your head and beam into mine. Perhaps in time. Meanwhile, I meant what I wrote.

      Asking good questions and actually caring about the people on the other end of the conversation seems to go really far.

      Liked by 2 people

      • gottmanfan says:

        Oh for sure asking good questions and caring is incredibly important! Validating the pain is a huge part of healing too.

        Research shows that it is the relationship of caring between the client and the therapist (or coach) that is the number 1 predictor of success and positive change.

        That matters more than technique or model or knowledge. So your strengths are well suited for to the job!

        Plus you have lots of knowledge too Mr. Modest ha ha

        But thanks for the kind words. 😀

        Like

  10. Terri Heaslet says:

    So glad you’re doing this! Maybe in the new year we can work together, thanks.

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I think you will be a great marriage coach. No mention of cost? Any hints?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Matt says:

      Thank you, Terri. That information is included on the questionnaire/application I send to requesters to help them decide whether they want to schedule an intro/onboarding call.

      I want people to jump through a couple of hoops to do this. Because it shouldn’t be a casual decision.

      Like

  12. Laney says:

    You don’t know me because I didn’t start commenting until recently. I found your blog a few years ago and it was helpful, took a year away while I went through a nasty divorce, and am back reading again. I went to therapists off and on for several years, trying to get rid of some baggage that made life harder for me. Two months ago I started sessions with someone who wasn’t a professional therapist, but is excellent at asking the right questions. I can honestly say I made more progress with him in 10 sessions (about 2 hours each) than I did in years of cognitive behavioral therapy. I have a new lens with which to see myself and my relationships, and it has made all the difference. My son experienced the same thing meeting with the same guy. So I have no doubt you can make a huge difference by asking the right questions. I love how you’ve framed it as a journey of discovering together. Way to take the leap! I am certain you’ll help a lot of people!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Matt says:

      That’s a good story, Laney. Thank you very much for sharing it. I’ve had people say similar things, and it’s humbling and hard to believe, but they seem to mean it sincerely. :)

      Not everyone has the same problem or pain point or roadblock.

      There are certain people in certain life situations that I seem to be able to help people with.

      It’s awesome that you and your son found someone like that for you.

      Thank you for the support and encouragement. I’m looking forward to seeing what comes next.

      Like

      • Laney says:

        Thanks, Matt. I’m so glad we did too. My son was assaulted by my ex husband and it sent him on a downward spiral of self-loathing and self-destruction. He had 3 previous therapists who took the edge off, but didn’t change things for him. He had given up on everything being ok but agreed to meet with this guy precisely because he wasn’t a therapist. After 4 sessions of asking the right questions, he helped my son figure out what was going on with him and he has done a 180. It is unbelievable, but very true and it overwhelms my mother heart with gratitude. It took me 10 sessions because my baggage was buried, but I feel free from so much pain that I have shoved in the darkest closets of my mind for two or three decades.

        I agree that every pain point is different, and that is why asking the right questions is the key. The right questions help each individual find the paradoxes of their belief systems that are stopping them from changing.

        The man who helped my son and I is starting a video/chat app so he can do online sessions. I’m so glad the two of you and others like you are helping people ask ourselves the right questions.

        Here’s to lots of self-discovery and healing for many! And I hope you keep up the blogging…

        Like

  13. Jo Self says:

    Best wishes to you in this new adventure. You are a light in the darkness. I don’t need your services right now — we’re cruising for the time being, though we had a cataclysmic near-failure, and had to go through a major overhaul earlier this year. But I’m glad to know you’re there if I/we need you.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Matt says:

      Exceedingly kind. Thank you very much. “Cruising for the time being” sounds like a pretty good place to be. Here’s to things staying that way forever and always. Please have a very happy and blessed holidays.

      Like

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