Happily Ever After

Marital Maintenance: Saying ‘I Do’ to Couples Coaching

Feb 22, 2019

Taking the big, bounding leap into marriage demands more than tearful nuptials and something old, new, borrowed and blue. Marriage is like a renovation, only instead of converting the spare room into a fun-sized yoga studio, you’re adding a human to your life. You need to make space, knock down walls, pick out paint colors and clear out your closets. You’re not just pledging your love, you’re also molding your world to fit someone else’s – and for that, you may need a professional.

Luckily for LBI lovers, there’s an expert who’s got you and your marriage covered. Her name is Elizabeth Burke Beaty, and her game is couples coaching.

Beaty began “Life You Want Coaching” in 2014 after making some life-altering changes of her own. For about 15 years, she’d been the picture of NYC ambition: co-founder of a prestigious Manhattan gallery, NYU adjunct professor and certified crisis counselor. But after more than a decade of city-slicking, Beaty had an epiphany that would carry her away from the “Big Apple” to the much smaller, more quaint apple of Long Beach Island.

The former art dealer settled into life at the shore, remarried, dabbled in art again and started seeing a life coach. After some time, Beaty realized life coaching wasn’t a far cry from what she’d been doing in New York City. “Through my profession as an art dealer, one of your roles is to nurture artists and to essentially coach them in their career, not just coach them personally, but to develop them professionally so that they can be self-sustaining. I loved that part of it,” she said.

Life coaching was a common theme in Beaty’s life. Even at the height of her career in the country’s largest city, she’d found time to support runaways, students, artists and, most importantly, herself. She saw space in the Long Beach Island community for a life coach, obtained her certification in 2014 and opened up “Life You Want Coaching.”

Beaty’s services initially included life, mindfulness, recovery and nutrition coaching. As a certified coach, Beaty gives her clients the tools they need to identify their goals and take actionable steps to achieve them. Now, add ordained minister to Beaty’s long list of credentials.

“I met this wonderful woman on an airplane to Nashville. We both serendipitously sat next to each other, and we had this great conversation about our lives and recovery and personal growth. We just hit if off,” said Beaty, recounting what had prompted her to expand into matrimonial services. “She proceeded to tell me she’d just gotten ordained, and I said to myself, ‘Wow, that sounds really awesome. I think I’d be really good at that.’”

Beaty got herself ordained last summer and added an exciting branch to her life coaching practice. The LBI-based professional now officiates weddings and offers couples coaching in a comprehensive package.

Though seemingly synonymous terms, couples coaching is not to be confused with couples counseling. Beaty said counseling is for couples requiring specialized assistance to address past hurts, mental health issues, or other behaviors beyond coaching. “It (counseling) often focuses on understanding the past to create health in the present. It is often retroactive,” she said.

Couples coaching, on the other hand, is a proactive, goal-oriented process.

“Coaches help couples move from where they are to where they want to be. It’s about helping clients get measurable results, sometimes quickly, sometimes slowly. It helps couples capitalize on their strengths, rather than focus on weaknesses, to achieve a bright and healthy future.”

A couples coach will ask questions that help clients optimize their relationships. They help couples nurture dynamic, intentional, respectful bonds to progress and propel their shared, life-long journeys.

A big part of Beaty’s job is helping couples assess and adjust their habits to overcome potential challenges. Beaty cited the following examples as coachable predicaments: “How do I keep my ongoing conflicts with my in-laws from really hurting our marriage?” or “How can we avoid arguments over money so that we can save for the future?” Beaty helps couples find the answers and strategies to ensure happy, proactive, harmonious relationships.

“It’s like seeing the promise in young athletes and then coaching them to big leagues,” she said. “Relationships are partnerships, and great partnerships take work – work that is uplifting and satisfying. Love alone does not necessarily make a marriage last.”

Through a coactive, integrative process, Beaty practices reflective listening, asks the tough questions and offers professionally founded suggestions while allowing her clients to set the pace and learn how to use the tools they’ve cultivated to coach themselves later down the line. Some of the things that couples will work on in Beaty’s program include: creating balance in their new lives, setting and working toward life goals, budgeting, fostering solid relationships by way of communication and gratitude, maintaining healthy lifestyles, identifying destructive habits, welcoming change and inviting fun into their lives.

When asked if she missed being an artist or working with artists, Beaty said, “I feel like I do that creative process with my clients now. We don’t make paintings; we make life. It’s just different. It’s a different end result, but it’s the same growth.

“I know I’m doing what I’m good at.”

Months of meticulous planning go into crafting the ultimate wedding day: floral arrangements, linens, color schemes, menus, the dreaded guest list. For all the TLC you give your reception, doesn’t your relationship deserve that same attention? Elizabeth Burke Beaty thinks so.

For more information about couples coaching at “Life You Want Coaching,” you can visit lifeyouwantcoaching.com, or contact Beaty at 917-623-9339 or elizabeth@lifeyouwantcoaching.com.

— Sarah Hodgson

Comments (0)
If you wish to comment, please login.